MOD is canvassing the opinions of UK Service personnel and their families on the modernisation of terms and conditions of military service.

The consultation period on the New Employment Model (NEM) was launched today, 20 June 2013, by Mark Francois, Minister of State for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, and will run until the end of October 2013.

The NEM programme is the most thorough review of Service personnel terms and conditions of service in a generation. It covers 4 broad areas of policy:

  • terms of service

  • accommodation

  • training and education

  • value and reward

Some aspects of the package are extremely strong and need to be protected, such as the provision of subsidised accommodation, welfare provision and the high standards of training and education offered by all 3 Services. However, to keep pace with the way in which Service people live their lives in the 21st century the package as a whole needs to be updated.

In particular, the impact of Service life on families and on the careers of spouses and civil partners are consistently the ‘top 2’ causes of dissatisfaction in the Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey.

A soldier heads home with his family
A soldier, returned safely from Afghanistan, heads home with his family (stock image) [Picture: Sergeant Ian Forsyth, Crown copyright]

Mark Francois said:

I am very pleased that the consultation on the New Employment Model begins today. Understanding what sustains Service personnel’s level of commitment to their chosen career is central to understanding the ‘moral component’ of military force – the will to fight, the determination to win, the incentive to join, and the motivation to stay.

It’s vital we offer the right employment model to our people in return for their service. I urge all Service personnel to get involved in the consultation in whatever way they can this summer.

Within the resources set by the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, the NEM aims to provide a rebalanced overall package for Service personnel, to ensure recruitment and retention of the capable people we depend on. The balance of the package will change, but the programme as a whole is not a cost-saving exercise.

Reserves are an integral part of Defence capability and the NEM will be designed to support a whole force approach to manning. The NEM will bring the terms and conditions of service up-to-date for both regular and reserve personnel.

Tri-Service personnel training together (stock image)
Tri-Service personnel training together (stock image) [Picture: Mike Weston, Crown copyright]

The Chief of Defence Personnel, Lieutenant General Andrew Gregory, said:

I am very much focused on the fact that MOD needs to retain the trust of Service personnel. Without it they will not have the motivation to join, to fight, or to remain in Service, thus trust critically underpins the offer. And so my main effort is to retain a credible and realistic offer, personally ensuring that the NEM successfully balances both attractiveness and affordability.

Personnel can take part in the consultation in a variety of ways, including via an online survey, at over 60 focus groups at 19 locations, via personal interview, and through email submission.

Once the consultation period concludes in October, there will be a period of detailed analysis of the information gathered. The outcome of this analysis will then be communicated towards the end of the year. Further consultation will take place in early 2014 on the details of some of the components of the NEM and how they will be implemented.

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