Headlines: April 17th, 2000

The MOD is recognising that modern times demand modern employment practices and perks for its personnel.The role of the armed forces is changing – with many more peacekeeping demands and constraints on numbers requiring more periods of active duty across the world.

The MOD is reviewing its role as an employer – and attempting to build benefits that are appropriate to today’s style of living.

While abroad, recognising that in today’s fast-changing world the telephone has overtaken letters as a means of communication, the telephone allowance has been increased from 3 to 20 minutes per week, backed up by improved infrastructure to ensure that personnel have access to working telephones.

For families left behind internet terminals have been installed at forces units and family centres around the country to help families keep in touch.

Leave entitlements have been altered to ensure that personnel are guaranteed time off when they return from a long deployment – in addition to their normal leave entitlement. There are bigger bonuses for those separated from their families for extended periods.

As well as these small but important improvements, the MOD has set up a review of training and education so that, in common with ordinary members of the public, forces personnel can take advantage of improved learning.

The first Armed Forces Overarching Personnel Strategy is also being implemented so that, for the first time, the Services have a coherent framework within which to develop personnel policies for the future.

These ‘Policy for People’ initiatives have been introduced as part of the Strategic Defence Review