Policy

Fulfilling the commitments of the armed forces covenant

Supporting detail:

Corporate covenant

What is a corporate covenant?

A corporate covenant is a written and publicised voluntary pledge from businesses and charitable organisations who wish to demonstrate their concrete support for the armed forces community.

Nearly 100 organisations have signed the corporate covenant, find out who has signed and what they’re pledging here.

How does the corporate covenant fit into the ‘covenant family’?

The corporate covenant has been designed to complement the armed forces covenant and sit alongside the community covenant. The armed forces covenant sets out the moral obligation of society towards members of the armed forces community and the community covenant provides a mechanism for local authorities and communities to express support for members of the armed forces community. The corporate covenant is designed to allow businesses and charitable organisations to express their support, and commit to ways in which they can provide that support. What does a corporate covenant include?

All corporate covenants include a core statement of commitment that those adopting the scheme sign up to. This covers the two key principles of the armed forces covenant, which are:

  • no member of the armed forces community should face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services compared to any other citizen
  • in some circumstances special treatment may be appropriate, especially for the injured or bereaved

Each organisation will also be encouraged to offer support in a way most appropriate to their situation and capacity, with the pledge document including a ‘menu’ of options for them to sign up to. This menu covers employment support for veterans, reservists, service spouses and partners, as well as support for cadet units, Armed Forces Day, and discounts for the armed forces community. There is also an opportunity for companies and charitable organisations to add their own commitments based on local circumstances.

Find out about your local Community covenant grant scheme or how to apply for the Libor fund.

What does a corporate covenant include?

All corporate covenants include a core statement of commitment that those adopting the scheme sign up to. This covers the 2 key principles of the armed forces covenant, which are:

  • no member of the armed forces community should face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services compared to any other citizen
  • in some circumstances special treatment may be appropriate, especially for the injured or bereaved

Each organisation will also be encouraged to offer support in a way most appropriate to their situation and capacity, with the pledge document including a ‘menu’ of options for them to sign up to. This menu covers employment support for veterans, reservists, service spouses and partners, as well as support for cadet units, Armed Forces Day, and discounts for the armed forces community. There is also an opportunity for companies and charitable organisations to add their own commitments based on local circumstances.

Who can sign a corporate covenant?

A corporate covenant can be adopted by a business or charitable organisation of any size, and from any industry, whether you are an employer of a member of the armed forces community or simply wish to acknowledge publicly your support for the armed forces.

You can email the covenant team at: covenant-mailbox@mod.uk or subscribe to our email alerts to find out the latest updates for the armed forces covenant.

What can businesses and charitable organisations do to support the armed forces community?

Businesses and charitable organisations who wish to participate will be asked to pledge their support for the two key principles of the armed forces covenant, but also to select from a range of other commitments they may feel able to make.

For example, a business or charity may wish to promote their organisation as armed forces friendly, through participation in Armed Forces Day, or through exclusive discounts to members of the armed forces community. Larger organisations may wish to actively seek to employ serving reservist personnel for the skills they possess, or strive to support the employment of ex-regular personnel and service spouses.

Check out the guidance notes for more examples of best practice and suggestions of the types of commitments you may wish to include in your corporate covenant.

Why should I sign a corporate covenant?

Organisations can benefit significantly from membership to the corporate covenant scheme as it offers an opportunity to build a reputation as a forces friendly business at a time when public support for the armed forces is at an all time high.

The armed forces community can contribute real value to an organisation, both as employees, who bring a wealth of skills and experience, and as customers. The corporate covenant scheme encourages the armed forces community to do their bit to nurture this two way relationship. It is important that defence seeks to foster an open and honest relationship with employers and that we ensure the needs of companies are considered alongside those of defence and the armed forces community.

We ask that members of the armed forces community declare themselves as such and build an open relationship with their employer. To play its part, the MOD will continue to support business needs, including by providing training and support to those leaving the armed forces as they transition to employment in civilian life.

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How can I sign a corporate covenant?

We are extremely keen to hear from businesses and charitable organisations, of all sizes and from all sectors, who wish to participate in the corporate covenant scheme.

Check out the corporate covenant template and guidance notes to get started with signing your own pledge. Once you have decided which commitments you would like to include, please provide details in your pledge document to explain how you intend to fulfil the commitments. For example, under ‘seeking to support the employment of veterans young and old’, you may wish to state: ‘by advertising vacancies through the Career Transition Partnership and the Recovery Career Service’. You can find other suggestions in the guidance notes.

You are required to register your corporate covenant with the covenant team, and send us your signed corporate covenant, so that we can keep track of those who have signed and what you have pledged to do.

Register your corporate covenant with the armed forces covenant team at covenant-mailbox@mod.uk.

Once we have confirmed your corporate covenant has been registered, we will give you permission to use the corporate covenant logo to demonstrate your commitment to the scheme.

Who has signed the corporate covenant?

Senior representatives from 5 key business organisations (the Business Services Association, the Confederation of British Industries, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Institute of Directors and the British Chambers of Commerce) publically pledged their support for the corporate covenant at its launch in June 2013.

We are now encouraging all companies and charitable organisations to register and sign their own corporate covenant.

How will the scheme be monitored?

Organisations will be encouraged to publicise their corporate covenant allowing customers and employees to challenge its performance. Also, companies and charitable organisations will be required to register their corporate covenant with the armed forces covenant team, and we will publicise their commitments on this website.

We ask that signatories commit to the corporate covenant for five years, after which they will be asked to renew their commitment.

Where can I get more information?

If you require further information, you can contact the covenant team via email: covenant-mailbox@mod.uk.

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