New Employment Model

The Ministry of Defence's future update to its employment package, to support and motivate service personnel.

Latest announcement

A new pay booklet, Pay 16: the armed forces pay model, was published today, 21 March 2016. This booklet provides further details on the new pay model and includes the 2016/17 pay scales, inclusive of the 2016 annual pay award.

Pay model

New pay model video

What is the New Employment Model?

The 2010 Strategic Defence Review recommended that a comprehensive analysis of military Terms and Conditions of Service occurred; this review became the New Employment Model Programme (NEM).

Some aspects of the current military terms and conditions of service need to be protected, such as, 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 services need a package which continues to be attract both those joining and currently serving. In particular, the impact of service life on families and on the careers of spouses and civil partners are consistently the ‘top two’ causes of dissatisfaction in the Armed forces continuous attitude survey (AFCAS).

NEM covers 4 broad policy areas:

  • pay and allowances
  • accommodation
  • training and education
  • terms of service (career structures and career management).

Although not part of the NEM, the Future Armed Forces Pension Scheme is linked to its development.

What is NEM aiming to achieve?

Now firmly in the implementation phase this model is providing a rolling programme of changes to 2017, with transition continuing for some years after that.

NEM aims to provide a revised model for regular and reserve personnel which supports operational capability by providing an offer that meets the needs of the service and the aspirations of the individual by encouraging domestic stability and lifestyle choice whilst supporting mobility. The outcome will be:


  • Improved recruitment and retention


  • greater responsiveness to change in the manpower requirement
  • improved internal agility, enabling the services to respond more quickly to changing requirements


  • improved value for money

The NEM consultation results

NEM undertook an extensive consultation exercise with service personnel and their families, the results of which were published on the 21 July 2014. The consultation was launched in June 2013 and ended in February 2014. It had 2 aims: two way communication with service personnel on the principles of NEM; and to help us design effective policy. There was an overwhelming response to the consultation from service personnel with:

  • 14,000 personnel attending briefings with question and answer sessions
  • 12,000 people accessing the online questionnaire
  • over 800 service personnel and families taking part in focus groups and interviews
  • the targeted survey, issued to 16,000 pre-selected personnel made up of a representative sample of officers and other ranks across the 3 services, generating nearly 8,000 responses

The following 2 consultation reports have been published on this website and can be found here:

  • NEM consultation phase 1 questionnaire feedback; a report providing a detailed summary of the responses to the online questionnaire
  • New Employment Model survey of service personnel; a statistical report on the survey

What has been achieved so far? (to October 2015)

NEM change achieved Detail
1. Simplified allowances In January 2014 we introduced changes to simplify the allowances process and remove avoidable bureaucracy; this involved merging and deleting some allowances.
2 Helped SP buy their own home Since April 2014, the Forces Help to Buy pilot has advanced over £80 million to help 5,280 SP buy a new home.
3. Extended Standard Learning Credits (SLC) to reserves In April 2014, the SLC scheme was extended to reserves to align with regular personnel entitlements.
4. Published our consultation findings In 2014, we published the detailed findings of our 2013/14 consultation with SP; results continue to influence policy
5. Introduced new engagement structures In April 2015, new engagement structures were introduced, aligned to the Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2015, to simplify career stages (12 years, 20 years, and up to age 60).
6. Adjusted reserves conditions of service In April 2015, we adjusted a number of elements of reserve conditions of service, to ensure there was equality of treatment between them and regulars.
7. New: announced cessation of accelerated incremental progression (AIP) In July 2015, we announced that AIP would cease from 31 December 2015; a necessary first step to reforming armed forces pay.
8. New: enabled SP to access loans for rental deposits Since July 2015, we have helped over 70 SP access the pan-Civil Service Tenancy Deposit Loan Scheme.
9. New: introduced harmonised set of career principles and practices In September 2015, we introduced a set of career management principles and practices to support: greater geographic and domestic stability; greater consistency in how careers are managed; and realistic lifestyle choice based on employment, stability and location factors.
10. New: enabled access to employment readiness training for spouses/civil partners In October 2015, we enabled the single services and Joint Forces Command to access employment readiness training for spouses/civil partners through the new Career Transition Partnership contract. Both the RAF and JFC have started pilots.
11. New: introduced more options to work flexibly In October 2015, we introduced changes to policy to give SP more flexibility in how they use their leave, including: calling forward annual leave; transferring leave between serving spouses; and an enhanced leave option.
12. New: announced flexible duties trial In October 2015, we announced that the British Army, RAF and Defence Healthcare, Education and Training organisation would be commencing a 1 year trial of flexible duties. The trial will explore how SP can reduce their commitment to create a form of part-time working.

What’s next?

There are a number of NEM major policy changes that still have to be achieved including the intended introduction of:

  • a simpler and more efficient pay model
  • a new Combined Accommodation Assessment System (CAAS) for service families accommodation from 1 April 2016
  • reform of ELC (Enhanced Learning Credits) and FHEC (Further and Higher Education Commitment) is expected in April 2016

Further details on:

  • Forces Help to Buy can be found on this website Forces Help to Buy
  • Combined Accommodation Assessement System for service families accommodation can be found here

Contact details

People-Strat-NEM Imp TL
6th Floor, Zone B
Main Building


Published 12 December 2012
Last updated 21 March 2016 + show all updates
  1. Updated the announcement.
  2. Updated contact details.
  3. Added pay reform video and link to pay model booklet.
  4. Updated NEM information.
  5. Added details announcement about a new charging system for Service Family Accommodation (SFA),
  6. Added details of NEM consultation results
  7. Updated page contents.
  8. Updated details of the NEM
  9. First published.