Job hunting

Forces Families Jobs is the go-to place for training and employment for family members of currently serving UK military personnel. For details on overseas employment opportunities please see our overses pages and choose the location.


01   Spousal employment overseas

Advice from MOD

AFF is aware that partners are experiencing issues when wishing to work remotely for a UK-based company whilst accompanying their soldier on an overseas assignment. These issues include their tax residence status and any potential impact of working remotely on their dependency status as part of the status of forces agreement (SOFA) or host nation agreement.

Following advice from the MOD legal advisors, the MOD has issued the following interim guidance, which the Army has shared with units and the chain of command:

The MOD would like to clarify that there are no tax protections offered to partners and spouses under SOFA. The MOD’s view is that paying tax to the host nation does not affect status under the SOFA and they are not aware of any issues raised in the past. They are unable to rule out that a host nation may interpret the position differently but would ask that any examples of issues faced by spouses are raised to the chain of command. 

AFF will continue to work with the MOD to ensure that families are provided with support and guidance on these issues.


The SOFA is a multinational agreement between nations enabling the operation of a nation’s Defence task in the territory of another nation. It does not cover spousal employment but also does not rule it out.

Following AFF discussion with the Global Support Organisation, a new Force Information Note (03/2022) has been developed and is available from EJSU National Support Elements. The key points are:

  • Under the SOFA, there are no exemptions from a dependant’s liabilities, such as the right to work in the host nation, or work remotely for a UK company overseas, or work as a UK Crown Servant when on an accompanied overseas assignment.
  • You may require a work permit, and may be required to pay tax and social insurance to the host nation. This is a personal matter and you will need to seek advice in addition to your employer being satisfied with the arrangements.
  • It is important to note that some host nations operate a household income tax regime so it is possible that, although your soldier’s salary is protected under the NATO SOFA, it could still be included in any cumulative assessment in determining your tax liability to the host nation.

If you experience any issues with working remotely whilst overseas, please contact

Things to consider when working overseas:


Tax responsibilities for spouses on overseas postings depend on individual circumstances and the statutory residency test. Any income which meets the tax threshold will require spouses to pay tax either via the UK system or that of the country of residence. It is the spouse or partner’s responsibility to establish their tax requirements.

AFF cannot provide tax or financial advice but for further guidance on UK tax, you can contact HMRC helplines to speak to one of their specialist tax advisors. There is also more information available on tax on a foreign income available at

You may also need to contact the relevant tax authority in the overseas location to find out if there are any tax obligations.

Local host nation requirements

Families need to consider the host nation’s rules and laws on issues such as local employment law and the ability to work from home, the requirement for a work visa, differing GDPR regulations, quality and security of international internet systems.

Employers’ responsibilities

Employers employing someone remotely overseas need to consider issues such as their tax position due to having an employee working in another country, how they pay their salary, health and safety, employer liability, insurance e.g. medical, home, travel etc, COVID-related protocols.

Back to top

02   Career Pursuit – a career guide for military families on the move

Career Pursuit – a career guide for military families on the move is free and aimed at partners of Service personnel. It offers career support, advice, resources and top tips, including setting up and running your own business.

Back to top

03   Information for spouses requiring a Certificate of Good Conduct/Police Certificate

A Certificate of Good Conduct (CGC) is a police and criminal check for Service personnel or their entitled family members, where they are required by a new employer to cover a period spent abroad. The CGC or equivalent is required in addition to a DBS check.

Will I need a Certificate of Good Conduct/Police Certificate?

You may require a CGC if you have lived outside the UK for a period of more than six months within the last five years. Especially if you intend to work or volunteer with children and young people, or vulnerable adults.

The aim of the certificate is to prevent anyone seeking employment or volunteer roles from being at a disadvantage on their return to UK and saves you having to approach foreign embassies for this information, often at an additional charge.

Who can issue a Certificate of Good Conduct/Police Certificate?

The certificates are issued by the Service Police Crime Bureau Vetting Officer. The process is very simple, but can take up to 40 days for you to receive your certificate from the application date. Although it is a good idea to get this done before an employer requests it, it’s best to wait until you have arrived back in the UK as the certificate will only cover the period up to the date checks are completed.

From May 2018, the inclusion of all overseas areas means that, as the SPCB cannot be absolutely sure that an individual has not been convicted overseas, the wording on the police certificate has been revised to read:

“Please note this certificate is based solely on information reported to the Service Police and held on the REDCAP criminal records database and Police National Computer. It is possible that foreign police forces may have dealt with an offence and not reported it to the Service Police.”

What is the process?

You will need to put your request in writing – email is fine – to, providing the following details:

  • Full name (including any previous names)
  • Date and place of birth
  • Address that will appear on the Police Certificate (please provide a 5-year history)
  • Country and dates spent in that country
  • Valid Proof of ID (either photo page of passport or photo driving licence) This can be scanned or photo taken of the document and attached to email)
  • You should state what information you are seeking e.g. a specific period, your entire criminal record etc. If the purpose is solely for employment vetting, the employer is only entitled to ask for the time spent abroad– this can then be clearly stated on your certificate.
  • Finally, you should state how you want to receive the info – hardcopy or by return email, and I would recommend that you include details of the job offer and start dates etc.

If you have experienced any issues getting a Certificate of Good Conduct, please contact AFF’s Employment and Training Specialist on for further advice.

Back to top

04   RBLI LifeWorks employability courses

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. The RBLI programme, delivered in partnership with the MOD, 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. They have also launched an online learning platform, which allows you to gain access to bite-size chunks of their course material with all sessions tailored to the Armed Forces and their families. You will need to register for FREE online to do this.

Back to top

05   Recruit for Spouses

The Not-For-Profit organisation Recruit for Spouses is an independent organisation designed specifically to recruit the spouses of Service personnel. Recruit for spouses can help with CV writing, interview techniques and they can introduce you to businesses who support the military community.

Back to top

06   RFEA Families Programme

The RFEA Families Programme can support military spouses and partners to develop the skills they need to find and secure the job that works for them. In addition, the RFEA offers job brokerage, individual case working and support with funding applications for training for members of the military community.

The programme is open to civilian spouses and partners of serving and ex-Service personnel, including divorced spouses and widows, subject to eligibility checks.

Back to top

07   Information for spouses requiring DBS checks

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) replaced Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) checks, which allows employees to take their DBS certificate with them from role to role.

You can join the Update Service for a registration fee of £13 per year (there is no fee for volunteers) when you have your application form reference number or you can join the Update Service with your certificate number when you receive your DBS certificate. You must do it within 28 calendar days of the date of issue, which is printed on the certificate. Alternatively, you can join the Update Service with your certificate number when you receive your DBS certificate. If so, you must do so within 30 calendar days of the date of issue, which is printed on the certificate.

The DBS has created two YouTube videos that explain how the Update Service can benefit applicants and employers:

Watch the applicant video.

Watch the employer video.

For more information on the Disclosure and Barring Service checks, visit or email us at

Back to top

08   CV & Interview Tips

Having a good CV is essential, no matter what kind of employment you are seeking. As an Army spouse who probably has a chequered career history or postings-induced career breaks, it’s even more important that your CV makes you stand out from the crowd.

You can find a variety of providers who can support you with employability skills and developing you CV on the Careers Advice page on Forces Families Jobs. There is a range of providers to choose from, so you can be sure to find the best provider for you.

For more information contact us at

Back to top

What our families say about AFF

“AFF - just a thank you for all that you do!!”

“What an awesome organisation”

“Thank you so much Army Families Federation!”

Find out more
8,840enquiries received in 2021
12,000+followers on Facebook
40,517unique website views during May
9,500+followers on Twitter