You may have already heard about Flexible Service (FS), which aims to provide Service personnel with a wider range of options to help them manage their lives. Group Captain Justin Fowler, leader of the MOD project team responsible for FS, told Army&You more…
What is FS?
It involves a number of changes to introduce more flexibility in the way that people can serve in the Armed Forces, but the most significant will be that your soldier will be able to apply to work part-time and/or to restrict their level of separation temporarily.
How will it work?
The part-time arrangements will allow your soldier to have one or two days off per week, although other routines could be agreed. People will not be able to reduce their duties by more than 40 per cent.The restricted separation option will prevent your soldier from being away for more than a specified number of days per year, so it will protect you from the longer spells of separation, such as deployments, for periods in your soldier’s service. Both options will result in a proportional reduction in pay, so people will need to think carefully before applying and discuss expectations with their chain of command. If granted, FS will provide a greater degree of certainty to allow you to plan your family life for that period of time. However, the Service will be able to cancel or suspend FS arrangements if necessary, where circumstances have fundamentally changed.
What does FS mean for those who don’t take it?
We know that some people are concerned about how it might impact on operational capability or on their workload if someone else on their team works part-time. This is why applications will only be approved where operational capability can be maintained. However, if we are to make the most of these new opportunities, people at all levels will need to look for ways to support applications by finding different ways of doing things. This may require a re-prioritisation of tasks or, in some instances, there may be opportunity for part-time Reservists to undertake some of the work.
When will FS be available?
From April 2019 – look out for more details at gov.uk