Employers sign the Armed Forces Covenant to demonstrate their support for the military community. However, unlike education and housing, there is no duty attached, so it’s down to organisations to interpret how they ensure that military families are treated fairly and not disadvantaged.

The level of support can often depend on the size of the organisation but may include guaranteed interview schemes, or briefing days to increase awareness of opportunities in their sector. Some commit to finding you alternative employment within the company (if roles exist) when you’re posted and you may find companies that offer flexibility in granting leave, especially around times of deployment. AFF is also seeing employers create armed forces networking groups to bring together employees with a military connection. The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme encourages employers to support the service community and inspire others to do the same. There are bronze, silver and gold awards for those who actively demonstrate or advocate support and align their values to the Armed Forces Covenant.


Gold award holder Compass Group UK has an armed forces spouse policy in place to recognise the important roles spouses play in supporting their serving partners. The company commits to providing an additional day of paid leave to support deployments; will endeavour to redeploy spouses to an alternative role within the UK on posting; and celebrates with an annual military spouses’ day.

Sarah Tott (main photo) has been with the company for six years: “When I heard about the new spouses policy I thought it was absolutely amazing. I have already benefitted from the company’s support in redeploying spouses to alternative roles on notification of posting, so it’s great this is now being formalised across the business. There is a strong forces community in Compass and it’s great to have people to lean on.”

It’s easy for your employer to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant – it’s often simply a case of someone (like you) suggesting it to them.

All of the employers at forcesfamilies jobs.co.uk are signatories too, so take a look! 

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