Armed Forces Covenant


01   What is the Armed Forces Covenant?

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation ensuring that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

It covers two key principles:

  • The Armed Forces community should face no disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services compared to other citizens.
  • Special consideration should be given when required, such as to the injured or the bereaved.

All local authorities in mainland UK and over 4,000 companies have now signed the Covenant, including AFF in our capacity as an employer.

To see the list of companies, see

Watch an explanation of the Armed Forces Covenant in 60 seconds.

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02   Does the Covenant apply to me?

The Covenant applies to all members of the Armed Forces community, wherever you live.

It is interpreted in different ways locally depending on local needs, including in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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03   What does the Armed Forces Covenant mean for Army families?

The Covenant provides support in a number of key areas for Army families including:

  • Housing
  • Education
  • Spouse employment
  • Health and social care
  • Money, and
  • Access to commercial products and services.

For the most up-to-date changes that the Covenant has affected, read the Armed Forces Covenant and Veterans Annual Report 2022.

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04   What is the Armed Forces Covenant Duty?

The Government has introduced a new Covenant Duty. This places a legal obligation on public bodies to pay ‘due regard to the principles of the Covenant’ and requires decisions about the development and delivery of certain services to be made with the conscious consideration of the needs of the Armed Forces community.

Public bodies will need to consider the unique impacts of Service life and how this may cause a disadvantage for Service families accessing services, compared to civilians.

The new legal obligation will impact public bodies that are responsible for delivering:

  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Housing

For more information, please see:
GOV.UK: Armed Forces Covenant Duty Statutory Guidance
The New Armed Forces Covenant Duty: What it means for the Armed Forces Community. – Armed Forces Covenant
Armed Forces Covenant Duty toolkit

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05   Does this mean that Army families can be given preferential treatment?

No, as the Armed Forces Covenant is designed to prevent disadvantage, rather than offer advantage. But it does mean that providers of public services within healthcare, education and housing will need to actively consider how Service life can affect families accessing services.

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06   Does this only apply to England?

No, this also applies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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07   Where can I find more information about the new duty?

There is more detailed information available at Armed Forces Covenant: The New Armed Forces Covenant Duty: What organisations in scope will need to know

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08   I want to discuss a Covenant issue with AFF

Please visit the contact us page and our enquiries team will ensure your enquiry will be sent to the relevant specialist to help with your issue.

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