2013 has seen an addition to the Covenant ‘family’. Julie Lowe, AFF Covenant Liaison, speaks to the MOD Armed Forces Covenant Team to find out what the new arrival means for Army families…

THE Corporate Covenant was launched in June to complement the Armed Forces Covenant and sit alongside the Community Covenant.

WHAT IS A CORPORATE COVENANT?

It’s a pledge from a business or charitable organisation wishing to demonstrate their concrete support for the Armed Forces community.

Its aim is to ensure that serving personnel, Reserves, veterans and families face no disadvantage when either using the services of a company or working for them.

Organisations pledge to uphold the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant. Commitments could include:

  • Supporting the employment of Service spouses and partners
  • Offering flexibility in granting leave for Service spouses and partners before, during and after deployment
  • Seeking to support any employees who choose to be members of the Reserve Forces
  • Offering discounts to members of the Armed Forces community.

Catriona Shaw, from the Covenant Team, explains: “Many businesses already support our Armed Forces but the Corporate Covenant allows them to do so formally.

“The Armed Forces and their families give a huge amount to our country and it’s fantastic to see the real difference the Corporate Covenant is having.”

COMPANIES ON BOARD

Many companies have now signed up to the scheme including Serco who offer interviews to Service personnel who meet the selection criteria.

National Express has pledged discounts for Service personnel and their families, and Barclays is demonstrating its commitment by providing free calls to Armed Forces customers on deployment using a WelComE call card.

Barclays will also manually review mortgage applications to ensure Service personnel are not disadvantaged as a result of gaps in their address history arising from their service.

So look out for businesses showing their support by displaying the Corporate Covenant logo.

MORE INFO

The AFF website (www.aff.org.uk) has a designated Armed Forces Covenant section, outlining the content and scope of the Covenant.

The MOD Armed Forces Covenant Team also provide details at www.gov.uk/the-armed-forces-covenant

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