News story

Businesses urged to support Armed Forces community

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Businesses and charities across the UK are now able to pledge their support to the Armed Forces by signing the new Corporate Covenant.

For the first time ever businesses and charities, both small and large, will have the opportunity to sign an official written commitment that they will help improve the lives of Armed Forces personnel, their families and veterans who are working for them or using their services.

By signing the brand new Corporate Covenant, businesses and charitable organisations will be able to choose unique ways in which their organisation can support our Armed Forces. These include:

  • providing sustainable job opportunities for reservists, veterans and Service spouses
  • offering exclusive discounts for members of the Armed Forces community
  • supporting their local cadet unit
  • getting behind Armed Forces Day every year

In time for Armed Forces Day on Saturday, 29 June, 5 key business organisations have already pledged their support at an official signing at Horse Guards today, 28 June. The first company to sign the Corporate Covenant was coach operator National Express.

These trailblazers now join over 320 local authorities around the country who have signed their own local Community Covenant.

Mark Francois, the Minister of State for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, said:

Our Armed Forces and their families give everything to our country so it is only right that society, including businesses, recognises their tremendous contribution and sacrifice. Many businesses already support our Armed Forces but they want to go further; I want to help them do that.

That is why today I am launching the brand new Corporate Covenant so all businesses, large and small, will now have the opportunity to formally support our Armed Forces community and make a real difference to their lives.

I hope organisations and charities from across the country get behind the Corporate Covenant and do their bit to support the Armed Forces in any way they can.

Neil Carberry, Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Director of Employment and Skills, said:

Businesses support our forces and the CBI is pleased to sign up to the covenant. It is important that employers work with the forces to develop a relationship that ensures reservists, ex-Service people and forces families can make the most of their workplace potential.

Mark Fox, Chief Executive of the Business Services Association, said:

We fully support the Corporate Covenant which provides a welcome opportunity for industry to show its support for the Armed Forces.