Supporting our Armed Forces

I am supporting the Armed Forces Flexible Working Bill. The purpose of the Bill is to support the recruitment and retention of personnel in the Armed Forces by enabling flexible working arrangements for regular service personnel.

The Bill would amend the Armed Forces Act 2006 to enable provision to be made through secondary legislation for flexible working arrangements for regular Service personnel.

Regular service personnel would be able to apply to work part-time and/or to restrict their geographic employment by limiting the time they are separated from their permanent place of residence or home base.

I know from my experience of training with our armed forces that they are the most professional in the world. They can only continue to be so if we recruit and keep the right people. The measures in the Bill will play an important role in ensuring our Armed Forces continue to attract the best recruits.

The Government is determined to meet their obligations to our brave service men and women and their families. Part of this commitment is ensuring that their service meets the needs of modern life and helps to secure a better work/life balance.

One of the top reasons why people choose to leave the Armed Forces is the impact of their service on family life. The Bill helps to balance the complexities of forces life with a private life.

This is not about cost saving, and personnel can only take part if they apply. The case is principally about recruitment and retention.

I graduated from the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme last year, completing a number of exercises with the Army and Royal Marines.