The Armed Forces Covenant and resources

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation to those who serve or have served in the armed forces, and their families, that they are treated fairly

The Armed Forces Covenant was originally signed by the Leader of Hampshire County Council and representatives of the Armed Forces in June 2011.

In October 2023, the Leader of Hampshire County Council re-signed the Armed Forces Covenant reinforcing its support of, and commitment to honouring, the Armed Forces Covenant and fulfilling its statutory duties in respect of healthcare, education and housing under the Armed Forces Act 2006, as amended by the Armed Forces Act 2021 (“The Covenant Duty”).

Hampshire County Council recognises the value the Armed Forces Community contributes to Hampshire and endeavours to ensure that in its provision of public services, and pursuant to the Armed Forces Covenant and Duty, no member of the Armed Forces Community is placed at a disadvantage compared to someone in a similar position who is not a member of the Armed Forces Community.

Principles of The Armed Forces Covenant

The Armed Forces Covenant is based upon two key principles:

  • The Armed Forces community should not face disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services.
  • Special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given most such as the injured and the bereaved.

Principles of The Covenant Duty

In accordance with its legal duty, when exercising relevant public functions in the areas of housing, healthcare and education, the Council will have due regard to:

  1. the unique obligations of, and sacrifices made by, the armed forces,
  2. the principle that it is desirable to remove disadvantages arising for service people from membership, or former membership, of the armed forces, and
  3. the principle that special provision for service people may be justified by the effects on such people of membership, or former membership, of the armed forces.

Removing Disadvantages

We aim to ensure that the level of access a member of the Armed Forces Community has to goods and services, or the support they receive is not comparatively lower than that of someone in a similar position who is not a member of the Armed Forces Community, and that any difference does not arise from one (or more) of the unique obligations and sacrifices of Service life.

Demonstrating our Commitment

Hampshire County Council recognises the value serving personnel, reservists, veterans and military families bring to our communities.

Hampshire is at the heart of the UK’s defence capability, and it is home to some of the UK’s most important defence forces and organisations. Examples include HMS Collingwood, HMS Sultan, British Army Land Forces Headquarters, Aldershot Garrison, Worthy Down, Marchwood Military Port and RAF Odiham. There are enormous benefits both economic and culturally to having a military presence in this county. Promoting mutually beneficial relationships between employers and Defence, by advocating the transferable skills and attributes that Armed Forces personnel take to the civilian workplace, is an economic asset to Hampshire.

We will strive to deliver our Armed Forces Covenant principles through working collaboratively with partners including military representatives, charities, third sector, businesses and other public bodies to promote the wider armed forces agenda, covenant and covenant legislation.

In respect of the Covenant Duty we will achieve this through the following:

  • Providing local authority delivered public health services that take into account the needs of the Armed Forces Community as informed by the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA).
  • Supporting service children around school admissions and educational achievement.

Alongside our Covenant Duty we will seek to uphold the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant, by promoting Hampshire County Council as an Armed Forces friendly organisation by:

Supporting Veterans: recognising the value of Armed Forces Veterans in the civilian workforce and supporting the transition to civilian life.

Recruitment - recognising equivalent military skills and qualifications and/or experience in our recruitment and selection process.

Understanding our workforce - Capturing service data of our employees to understand our workforce profile.

Supporting Service Spouses & Partners, before, during and after a partner’s deployment in accordance with our leave policies where we can.

Supporting Reservists: with a clear Reservist Policy, which grants additional paid/unpaid leave for annual Reserve Forces training and helps managers to support mobilisations and deployment, as well as raising awareness amongst members of staff of the opportunities to become a Reservist.

Commemorating significant events and celebrating our Armed Forces: such as Remembrance activities, Armed Forces Day and Reserves Day.

Facilitating and providing advice and support within our Armed Forces communities.

Covenant training and resources

Short animation explaining the Armed Forces Covenant

One page summary of the Covenant Duty

E-learning course

Covenant Duty toolkit