Military personnel past and present have a new ally in their search for gainful employment after The HR Dept pledged its support by signing The Armed Forces Covenant.
The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly.
Businesses can choose to adopt it as a demonstration of their support for the armed forces community and, with Armed Forces Day taking place on Saturday June 25th, The HR Dept has now done so.
It means the Bristol-based national HR outsourcing company, which operates in 80 territories around the UK and Ireland through a network of 58 licensees, will uphold the covenant’s key principles across its operation and advocate these practices to its customer base of 4,500 SMEs.
The principles of the Covenant are twofold – first that no member of the Armed Forces, past or present, should be disadvantaged compared to any other citizen in providing public and commercial services and, secondly, that they may be due special treatment, especially if injured or bereaved.
In practice, the signing of the Covenant means the HR Dept will promote itself as forces-friendly, help Armed Forces personnel seeking employment recognise the transferrable skills they have, support veterans and their partners with CV writing and interview practice, support employees who choose to be Reservists and educate the company’s customers about the benefits of employing reservists and cadets.
The HR Dept has also committed to ensure that practical policies and training seminars are available to its 58 Licensees and their staff to implement with their own customers, as well as making sure that those franchise holders are trained in the specific challenges faced by military personnel.
The HR Dept is one of just over 1,000 companies in the UK to have signed The Armed Forces Covenant.
In the South West, 141 companies apart from The HR Dept have signed the covenant – nine in Bristol, seven in Cornwall, 31 in Devon, 10 in Dorset, 42 in Gloucestershire, 14 in Somerset and 29 in Wiltshire.
It was signed again in Bristol, the city where The HR Dept was set up in 2002, on behalf of all 58 Licensees in the UK and Ireland by the company’s new managing director Gemma Tumelty, the daughter of founder and executive director Sue Tumelty.
Gemma Tumelty said: “The brave service men and women of the UK’s armed forces aren’t assured an easy transition back into civilian life when they leave the military. Long and short serving veterans often have to take a huge leap from their experience in military employment to whatever they do next.
“The Armed Forces Covenant has been set up to pull businesses, communities, and the public together to support them; ultimately helping to remove any disadvantages they may face upon their return to civilian life.
“For some it will be easier than others. The immensely successful and inspiring Invictus Games recently shed light on the difficulties faced by veterans left injured from war. They highlighted the traumatic disabilities soldiers have learnt to live with, before anything else is considered. And those without injury may still face difficulty readjusting after years of service.
“Even smaller things like writing CVs or paying bills could pose an initial challenge. Following years of living regimented and structured lifestyles with peers in similar roles, stepping into a life outside of that (especially if unemployed) can be a lonely journey.
“The HR Dept is one of the businesses signing the Armed Forces Covenant. As part of this we’ve pledged to become an armed forces friendly organisation. We are here to support and advise employers looking to recruit veterans, veterans looking to secure employment; and we’ll promote the benefits of employing veterans and reservists too.”