Covenant commitments: ensuring your future
Helping Army families find the missing link
Good News for Spouse Employment
Free employment advice for Service families
SORTED! – expert employment support for the Armed Forces Community at the click of a button
Great News for Spouses Requiring CRB Checks - New online Update Service
Recruit for Spouses
Women Like Us - Specialising in part time recruitment in and around London
As part of the commitments of the Armed Forces Covenant, you and your soldier should not be disadvantaged in your career goals and pension.
Some of the ways the Covenant works to ensure this include:
- Jobcentre Plus Armed Forces Champions focus specifically on the support, advice and guidance provided by Jobcentre Plus to ensure they reflect the needs of the Service community.
- Working with Employers so that they understand the benefits of employing Service leavers and Reservists, as well as the need for flexible employment policies.
- Exemption, when returning from overseas, from UK residency rules when seeking Jobseeker’s Allowance.
- National Insurance credits for Service spouses and partners for time spent accompanying their partner abroad to ensure that they receive their full State Pension when they retire.
For more on AFF’s Covenant work, click here.
The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) Jobcentre Plus has sent AFF a comprehensive factsheet compiled especially for Army families, including Reservists and veterans, with useful links covering employment, education & training, housing and finance.
You may find this useful whether your soldier is serving, going through resettlement or even if they are a veteran. Click here for the factsheet.
For more information contact the AFF Employment, Training, Allowances & Money Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.orgBack to top
From December 2013, the MOD now encourages all tenderers bidding for MOD contracts to support a number of personnel objectives including:
- Employment of service leavers
- Employment of wounded, injured or sick veterans
- Employment of the spouses and partners of service personnel
- Helping local cadet units
- Support to Reservist employees
- Encouragement of Reserve service
This is great news for spouse and partner employment. It means that MOD Invitations to Tender will include a section that encourages supporting the employment of partners of serving personnel. This will be outside of the tender evaluation itself BUT it is an important step because it will encourage organisations looking to bid for MOD contracts to consider how they can support these key areas including spouse employment, bulleted above.
AFF is delighted with this non contractual addition to MOD tenders but we do understand that in these early stages, it is difficult to predict how many contractors will take these up. We will work with the MOD Covenant team to monitor progress of this initiative and hope that as a result, awareness is raised amongst contractors of supporting spouse and partner employment.Back to top
If you are looking at restarting your career or going out to work for the first time then these employability workshops could be perfect for you. This RBLI programme, delivered in partnership with the Ministry of Defence, is a vocational assessment and employability course that gives you the tools to enable you to get the job you want, you are going to succeed in and enjoy. Click here for more details.
See if there will be a free course coming your way: rblilifeworksfamilies.co.uk/dates
AFF is delighted that a fantastic new employment consortium has been launched to provide employment support to spouses, dependants, Service leavers and veterans.SORTED! comprises of seven well established charities, which provide a wide range of employment related services and support for the Forces community (including spouses/partners and dependants) to find and stay in work. These services have now been integrated into seamless employability support and guidance.
SORTED! will focus on you if you are actively seeking employment and ensure that you get the right information, advice and guidance to make your employment journey easier and more effective. We do this by linking you directly with a member of the SORTED! team who can walk you through your options and direct you to services that are being provided either by the SORTED! team or through appropriate associates and providers. SORTED! also has direct links with a large number of employers providing access to a wide range of vacancies. Equally if it is training you are looking for or simply any other employability advice, SORTED! can help.
The SORTED! website address is www.sorted.org.uk, and the help line is 0800 319 6845.
Waiting for CRB checks can cause many spouses, who move frequently, to lose months of precious work time when they are posted. AFF has been waiting for the CRB check to be updated for a long time and finally the Disclosure and Barring Service have announced that the new Update Service will be introduced on 17 June.
(The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) have merged into the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). CRB checks are now called DBS checks.)
This service will dramatically change the way individuals use their criminal record check and how employers check their suitability. For the first time, individuals will be able to apply to have their criminal record check kept up to date and employers will be able to go online to see if the information released is still current and valid. The Update Service will ultimately reduce the number of criminal record checks people need to have, saving everyone time and money.
From 17 June 2013, anyone who applies for their next criminal record check can choose to subscribe to the Disclosure and Barring Service’s new Update Service for £13 per year. This will allow them to keep their criminal record certificate up to date, so that they can take it with them from role to role, within the same workforce or volunteer organisation.
Employers will benefit too because they can carry out free, instant online checks of an individual's certificate (with their consent), to check that it is up to date. When someone is subscribing to this service, you would only have to seek a new criminal record check if the system tells you something has changed.
More information about the new Update Service is now available from the Disclosure and Barring Service website www.gov.uk/dbs. If you have any questions you can get in touch with the Customer Services team on 0870 90 90 811 or at email@example.com
UPDATE: The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) that has replaced the Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) checks, allows employees to take their DBS certificate with them from role to role. The DBS has created two YouTube videos which explain how the Update Service can benefit applicants and employers: Watch the employer video here www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2p2k2MQvRE.
Watch the applicant video here www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF9W7WOwdhY.Back to top
The Not-For-Profit organisation Recruit for Spouses is a website designed specifically to recruit the spouses of Service men and women. Created by Heledd Kendrick, herself an Army spouse, it was launched in January this year, and in the last three months the company has seen a surge in registrations with over 3,000 unique visitors to the website.
Heledd realised there was a desperate need for wives and partners to be supported throughout their working life whilst married to someone in the Armed Forces.
“It’s becoming increasingly difficult in this current climate to find long term work, particularly if you’re the partner of someone in the military. For us it’s about working with the right companies who can support a spouse either part time or full time. We’ve found that CV writing is a key part of this process and we’re delighted to have recruited a spouse who was formerly the recruitment manager at BMW”.
Thanks to a start-up grant last year from the Royal British Legion’s Women’s section, Recruit for Spouses has been able to engage with companies such as BT, Siemens and Amazon. However Recruit for Spouses is also looking at working with small and medium sized businesses who acknowledge the difficulties faced by this unique group of Service wives.
“We are really keen to engage with more small local companies, in particular those who are supporting the Military covenant. We have already worked with a few small businesses who have found our pool of talented skilled workers really useful to tap into, as from what I can see Military spouses prove to be thoroughly resourceful and extremely dependable”
Recruit for Spouses also practices what it preaches, and now has a team of 8 Service spouses based in the UK and Germany who bring their various areas of expertise to the venture allowing it to grow. The central tenet however remains extant – ensuring that spouses of members of the Armed Forces have the opportunity to be gainfully employed by socially responsible employers who recognise and value the contribution and sacrifices made by the service spouse community. If you would like more information please visit www.recruitforspouses.co.ukBack to top
Women Like Us are a social enterprise aiming to give everyone the choice to fit work around the needs of their family. They operate across London
- Reach women at their natural meeting place – the school gates
- Give practical support to bring women confidently back into work
- Run a recruitment service that specialises in part-time jobs
- Work with employers to design part-time jobs that benefit their business
- Help to grow the part-time job market, by spreading the message that flexible working makes good business sense.
For more information please visit www.womenlikeus.org.uk. Please note: AFF does not accept responsibility for any transactions that take place and is not responsible for the content and reliability of external websites.
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