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Defence Employers Recognition Scheme Tag

The following is a brief overview of the Armed Forces Covenant. For more details about the changes that have already been implemented as a result of the Covenant, and how this can have an impact on you and your family, please visit the Armed Forces Covenant website for further information.

 

You can also watch a short video about the Covenant here, which has been put together by the RN Two-Six team.

 

What is the Armed Forces Covenant?

To those who proudly protect our nation, who do so with honour, courage, and commitment, the Armed Forces Covenant is the nation’s commitment to you.

It is a pledge that together we acknowledge and understand that those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve with their lives.

It’s about making sure that you are not disadvantaged as a result of your service or your connection to the Armed Forces – giving you a ‘level playing field’.

 

The Covenant in the Community

The Covenant in the Community is a voluntary pledge of mutual support between a civilian community and its local Armed Forces community. Local authorities and the Armed Forces in your area are working together in order to:

 

  • Encourage local communities to support the Armed Forces community in their areas, and to increase understanding and awareness among the public of issues affecting the Armed Forces;
  • Recognise and remember the sacrifices faced by the Armed Forces community;
  • Encourage activities that help to integrate the Armed Forces community into local life;
  • Encourage the Armed Forces community to help and support the wider community, whether through participation in events and joint projects, or other forms of engagement.

 

Covenants in the Community may look quite different from one location to another; the nature of the support offered will be determined by need and capacity. The delivery of the Covenant is usually managed locally by an Armed Forces Covenant lead officer working within the local authority, in conjunction with a partnership board. Visit your local authority website for more details and contact information.

 

The Covenant in Business

This involves businesses and charitable organisations making a written and publicised voluntary pledge which expresses their support to the Armed Forces community, and demonstrates how they have committed to ways in which they can provide support.

 

These Covenants include a core statement of commitment, which covers the key principles of the Armed Forces Covenant:

 

  • 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.

 

Each organisation is also encouraged to offer support in a way most appropriate to their situation. The pledge document includes a menu of options for organisations to sign up to, including; employment support for Veterans, Reservists, Service spouses and partners, support for Cadet Units, participation in Armed Forces Day, and offering discounts to the community. There is also an opportunity for organisations to add their own commitments based on local circumstances.

 

The Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS)  acknowledges employers who have provided exceptional support to the Armed Forces community and defence by going above and beyond their Covenant pledges.

Through a 3 tier approach of bronze, silver and gold awards, the scheme recognises the different levels of commitment provided by employers. This allows the Ministry of Defence to publicly thank and honour those organisations for their support.

 

You can nominate yourself for a bronze awardSilver and gold awards are bestowed to organisations meeting specific criteria.

 

The Covenant in Government

The Armed Forces Covenant is a cross-Government commitment which involves many central government departments, such as the Departments for Work and Pensions, Health and Social Care and Education, as well as the NHS.

Many topics covered are devolved matters i.e. education, and therefore the Devolved Governments of Wales and Scotland, and the Northern Ireland Executive, are responsible for their delivery.

 

Wales
The Welsh Government contributes to the Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report. It has appointed an Armed Forces Advocate to represent Wales on the Covenant Reference Group, and has established an Expert Group to consider the needs of the Armed Forces community in Wales. The NFF is part of this Expert Group. Click here for further information.

 

Scotland
In 2012, the Scottish Government published ‘Our Commitments: Scottish Government Support for the Armed Forces Community in Scotland’. This document illustrated how the Scottish Government was addressing the needs of its Armed Forces community. They then revisited their Commitments in 2016, with the publication of their Renewing our Commitments document. Furthermore, in response to the reports issued by the Scottish Veterans Commissioner, the Scottish Government then issued guidance which outlines the support that is being offered to the Armed Forces Community – click here to read this document.

The Scottish Government contributes to the Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report, and has appointed an Armed Forces and Veterans Advocate to represent Scotland on the Covenant Reference Group.

 

Northern Ireland
In July 2013, the House of Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee produced a report that stated that the UK Government must identify any shortfalls in the provision of services to the Armed Forces Community in Northern Ireland, and report on how these will be met. The Committee called for closer engagement between the UK Government and Northern Ireland Executive on support for the Armed Forces Community. Click here for details.

 

Full details about all aspects of the Armed Forces Covenant can be found on the MOD website here.

 

Armed Forces Covenant Fund

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust run a programme which makes grants of up to £20,000 for local projects that support the Armed Forces Community.

Further information on the priorities, eligibility and application process can be found on the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust website. If you have any questions which are not covered by the guidance, you can contact the team at enquiries@covenantfund.org.uk

 

Posted on: 20th November, 2018
Updated: 18th March, 2019

Research shows that Royal Navy and Royal Marines spouses/partners represent an untapped pool of skilled labour. However, a study by Barclays also shows that almost 40% of Service spouses and partners believe that having their other half in the Armed Services has prevented them from being offered a job interview. We have put together some facts, figures and real life examples of how employing a Service spouse or partner can benefit your organisation, please click here. 

 

Sharing good practice

Military Network – many organisations have set up a network for those staff members that have a connections to the Military community. This provides support within the workplace and also gives the organisation the opportunity to raise new ideas and suggest possible future projects that are specific to the Military community.

 

Internal Moves Policyreferencing a Military spouse/partner within the policy reassures your staff member that you are supportive of internal moves due to their serving partner’s Military assignments.

 

Cultureeach member of staff has different family needs at different times. The greatest support will come from creating a culture where everyone is treated as an individual and these needs can be discussed open and honestly with a view to finding a solution that works for both the individual and the organisation.

 

Employment Workshops  the Naval Families Federation has been approached by a number of organisations wishing to facilitate employment workshops for Service spouses. Barclays Bank, for example, have run a ‘skills’ workshop for Royal Navy and Royal Marines partners and spouses in the summer of 2018. A pilot workshop was held in Portsmouth and it is now rolling out across the country.

 

Recruitment – if you have a position which you think would be suitable for a Service spouse or partner and you would like us to assist with advertising the role, please email info@nff.org.uk with the details and we will be able to share this on our LinkedIn page here; Forces Families Job (ForcesFamiliesJobs.co.uk) is a Tri-Service platform to enable family members of serving personnel to have a ‘one stop shop’ where they can apply for jobs directly with employers who have signed the Armed Forces Covenant as well as find signposting to other career and training opportunities. Please visit this page for more information. Listen to this podcast and find out more about how this platform can benefit employers.

 

Find out more

If you’re interested in finding out how you can offer employment support to Service spouses, or if you would like to know about Forces Families Jobs, please contact us at contactus@nff.org.uk.

 

Armed Forces Covenant

The Armed Forces Covenant is a pledge to acknowledge and understand those who serve/ have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, that they should be treated with fairness and respect. The Armed Forces Covenant can be signed by businesses of all sizes, charitable organisations, local authorities, public sector organisations and single services. Employers can choose specific promises or pledges to support their employees within the Armed Forces community. For example, employers can pledge to promote the fact that they are an Armed Forces-friendly organisation.

 

A report launched by The Forces in Mind Trust, titled ‘Benefit not Burden’, calls for increased awareness around the benefits to businesses, public and voluntary sector organisations in the UK in signing up to the Armed Forces Covenant.

 

Defence Relationship Management has also produced a video to explain why this partnership is good for businesses and the Armed Forces community.

 

Defence – Employers Recognition Scheme

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 Armed Forces Covenant. 

 

Posted on: 12th May, 2016
Last updated on: 24th February, 2020