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.
Those who serve in the armed forces, whether regular or reserve, those who have served in the past, and their families, should face no 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 the most such as the injured and the bereaved.
This obligation involves the whole of society: it includes statutory, voluntary and charitable bodies, private organisations, and the actions of individuals in supporting the armed forces.
The issue the covenant is addressing is the fair and equal access to goods, services, information and support whether from statutory, voluntary or commercial organisations.
- ensuring that service personnel, ex-service personnel and their families are NOT disadvantaged through military service
- ensuring a level playing field so that there is equal access to any form of service or support or information
- special consideration is given on a case-by-case basis and is at the discretion of the organisation providing it.
The Armed Forces Act, which gained Royal Assent in Parliament on 15 December 2021, enshrined the Armed Forces Covenant in law for the first time. The Armed Forces Act delivers a series of improvements and places a duty on public bodies including councils, the Police and Primary Health Care providers to uphold the covenant principles.
Every year the Government publishes a report detailing its progress to strengthen delivery of the Armed Forces Covenant. You can read the national annual report on the government’s website.
You can find out more on the Armed Forces Covenant website.