What is the Armed Forces Covenant?
It is a promise from the nation to those who serve or who have served, and their families, which says we as a Nation will do all we can to ensure they are treated fairly and not disadvantaged in their day-to-day lives. The Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) relies on the people, communities, and businesses of the UK to actively support it in order to make a difference.
So, what does the AFC mean for your businesses?
Any business or charitable organisations wishing to demonstrate support for the Armed Forces community can sign the Covenant. You and your business, can make a range of written and publicised promises, to set out your support to members of the Armed Forces community who work in your business or access your products and services.
That your company will endeavour in your business dealings to uphold the key principles of the AFC:
- No member of the Armed Forces Community should face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services compared to any other citizen;
- In some circumstances special treatment may be appropriate especially for the injured or bereaved.
The level of support will depend on the size and nature of your organisation, but typically includes policies that:
- Support Reservists in their service commitments, such as Special Leave for their two-week annual camp.
- Encourage the reserve service to existing employees.
- Support employment of the Military community including Veterans and Service spouses/partners; Reservists and Cadet Forces Adult Volunteers.
- Give the Armed Forces community a fair deal on commercial products and services.
How can the MOD and the Armed Forces community support your business?
The Armed Forces community can contribute real value to a business, both as employees, who bring a wealth of skills and experience, and as customers. Military people bring a myriad of skills to civilian businesses, including great team work, being able to perform under pressure and good leadership skills. They are employees who are reliable, loyal and adaptable.
Over 2,500 businesses and charities throughout the UK, have already signed an Armed Forces Covenant, when will your company? Find out more about the AFC: www.armedforcescovenant.gov.uk
As Regional Employer Engagement Directors, Debra Barton and Philip Sinclair will work with your company to tailor the pledges to meet the needs of your organisation. They, on behalf of the MoD, recognise your commitment to becoming a Forces Friendly Employer, and reward your company, with the Employer Recognition Scheme. The Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) publically recognises employers’ efforts to support Defence personnel issues, such as employing Veterans and Service spouses/partners; Reservists and Cadet Forces Adult Volunteers, whilst inspiring others to do the same. The scheme encompasses Bronze, Silver and Gold awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to Defence and the Armed Forces community, and align their values with the AFC. www.gov.uk/mod/employer-relations
If you’re interested in finding out more about the AFC, ERS or partnering with Defence, please contact our Employer Engagement team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0121 427 5221. Alternately, to see which other organisations that have pledged their support, visit: www.armedforcescovenant.gov.uk