New Legal Powers to Support Armed Forces Families and Veterans

  • Defense ministers backed a new legal obligation that supports Armed Forces personnel, their families and veterans.
  • The duty, introduced today, gives local services the legal responsibility to embody the Armed Forces Covenant, a key mechanism that helps the armed forces and veterans of the UK.
  • The Compact itself has been in existence for more than a decade, has nearly 10,000 signatories and helps ensure a wide range of support for those who serve their country.

Defense Ministers backed a stronger legal requirement on local services to support Armed Forces personnel, their families and the veteran community.

From today (22 November), councils, NHS Trusts and other local bodies across the UK providing services to the Forces community, will be required to adhere to a new legal obligation which reflects the key values ​​of the Armed Forces Pact.

This means that authorities must now consider the impact of their decision-making on members of the Armed Forces community. For example, schools should determine whether a parent is a member of the Forces community and give due consideration to their requirement for flexible leave based on the demands of their military career.

Services covered include health, housing and education, and the new Defense Personnel Support Minister has provided personal support.

Minister of Defence, Veterans Affairs and Military Families, Dr Andrew Murrison, said:

The men and women of the Armed Forces do extraordinary things and put themselves in danger. We must always do the right thing for them and their families.

Today, we are building on the progress made over the past decade in integrating the Armed Forces Compact, strengthening its legal force and compelling service providers to make it work.

The introduction of the Duty to Respect Pact further reinforces Defense’s unwavering commitment to supporting our world-class armed forces, and their families, as well as those who have served their country before.

The duty, which also honors the Government’s wider commitment to the British Forces community, has been included in the Armed Forces Bill 2021, making it into law.

As well as staff and veterans living in England, the duty will also apply to those in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, ensuring that all are supported and not disadvantaged, wherever they are. choose to live.

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