Covenant support for Service families: Civilian employment

In civilian employment, Covenant support for Service families includes the following:

“I can’t claim Jobseeker’s Allowance, as I’ve been living abroad with my serving partner on an overseas posting”

Spouses and older children of serving personnel are now exempt from the need to be a UK resident for three months in order to claim. Therefore, they can now claim income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance as soon as they return to the UK.

News story: Making allowances

“My National Insurance record has a gap, as I’ve been living abroad with my serving partner on an overseas posting”

Partners of Armed Forces personnel posted overseas may be able to claim National Insurance credits if they go with them on an overseas posting.

News story: Military spouses National Insurance credits system – UPDATED

“I fail the UK residency requirements when applying for certain jobs, as I’ve been living abroad with my serving partner on an overseas posting”

The College of Policing has updated its Authorised Professional Practice on Vetting. The spouse, partner or dependant of a member of the Armed Forces posted overseas who applies to work for the Police Service will no longer fail the residency requirements due to time spent overseas.

Are you an employer that waives your normal UK residency requirements for job applicants from Armed Forces families that have been serving overseas? If so, please let us know so we can highlight this here.

“It’s hard for me to maintain or gain employment, as employers don’t understand the impacts of Service life”

Employing members of the Armed Forces community provides links to sources of help, advice and contacts for employers of members of the Armed Forces community.

Your employer can improve its understanding of Service life by signing the Covenant. You can check if they’ve already signed, and what they’ve pledged. Your employer can also take steps towards recognition under the Employer Recognition Scheme award.

Case study: The Armed Forces Covenant can support spouses/partners in their career progression

“It’s hard for me to find employment, due to the requirements of Service life”

Various initiatives under DWP’s enhanced access to Jobcentre Plus services may benefit you.

As a spouse or partner of a serving person, you can be considered for early access to the Work Programme. This provides support, work experience and training for up to 2 years to help people find and stay in work. Those who have been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for at least 3 months are eligible.

Recruit for Spouses is an independent and award-winning social enterprise dedicated to supporting, championing and finding gainful employment for an untapped talent pool of spouses and partners. This includes the spouses and partners of serving personnel, veterans, and bereaved or divorced spouses and partners. They can offer help with CVs and interview skills, enhancing digital skills, sourcing career opportunities, and placing spouses and partners into posts advertised by partner organisations. They offer access to a range of free online resources including webinars, social media, and live Q&A sessions.

Forces Families Jobs is a website that seeks to bring together employers and service spouses and partners looking for jobs. The three Families Federations and MOD established it in 2019, supported by military charities and a major recruitment agency.

News story: Find a Military Spouse, Partner or Other (MILSPO)- new website launched

“I don’t have the work skills I need, as Service life has prevented me achieving my training goals”

RBLI Lifeworks is a support service to help military spouses and partners get the job they want. It’s available to all partners of any serving (or recently discharged) member of the Armed Forces. This includes reserves and bereaved families. The course is fully funded by Armed Forces charities and other organisations, so is completely free.

Supporting the Unsung Hero is an award-winning, business start-up programme delivered by the Black Country Chamber of Commerce. The programme was developed specifically for Armed Forces families. It aims to provide them with the transferable skills and support required to start and maintain a business.

The Forces Employment Charity’s dedicated Families Programme delivers holistic employability and employment support to all spouses and partners of serving personnel and veterans, including divorced, separated, and bereaved, in the UK and overseas. The charity understands Service life and transition can impact the whole family, so also offers personal development and career guidance to dependants aged 16-24. It’s easy to register: submit your request online, call their central support team on 0121 262 3058 to connect with an adviser, or email

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