On 8th February 2021, the Armed Forces Bill 2019-21 received Second Reading and was committed to the Armed Forces Bill Select Committee for consideration.
The Armed Forces Bill will enshrine the Armed Forces Covenant in law and help prevent past and currently serving personnel and their families being disadvantaged when accessing services like education and improve the Service Justice System for our personnel wherever they are operating.
Focusing on healthcare, housing and education, it will increase awareness among public bodies of the unique nature of military service, improving the level of service for members of the Armed Forces community, no matter where in the UK they live.
Since the launch of the Armed Forces Covenant in 2011, many businesses have committed to offering part-time or flexible working patterns to Reservists and military spouses/partners. Enshrining the Covenant in law also builds on a number of initiatives implemented over the past year to support Service leavers and veterans. These include the Defence Transition Services organisation, which was established to assist those facing the greatest difficulties successfully transition to civilian life after leaving Service.
The NFF are proud to be part of Forces Families Jobs, a collaborative project between the three Families Federations in conjunction with the MOD Relationship Management Team to support current serving military families and Service Leavers with employment and training opportunities.
The Bill will also make the complaints system more efficient by bringing the time given to personnel to lodge an appeal in line with timings offered in the private sector.
The Bill will also renew the Armed Forces Act 2006, following the Armed Forces Acts of 2011 and 2016.
Select Committee and their work
On 3rd March 2021, the House of Commons launched the Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill, chaired by James Sunderland MP.
- NFF CEO Anna Wright attended an oral evidence session at 2.30pm on 4th March 2021. You can watch the session on Parliament TV here.
- The Committee published a special report in April 2021. You can read the report here.
- Based on feedback and issues raised by Service personnel and their loved ones, the Naval Families Federation submitted our observations on behalf of our community. You can find other written evidence here.
- Please click here to read the news story.
- Click here to find out more about the Bill and its other measures.
- July 2021 – The NFF has joined 11 other military charities in signing an open letter which has appeared in several newspapers calling for the Covenant into Law part of the Armed Forces Act to be strengthened and to go further. Read the news story here.