Compass Group UK & Ireland, the UK’s largest food and support services provider, has today signed the Armed Forces Covenant, at a ceremony hosted by Secretary of State for Defence, Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, on HMS Belfast, in London.
The Covenant includes pledges by Compass Group to ensure no member of the Armed Forces Community should face disadvantage in the provision of services compared to any other citizen and in some circumstances special treatment may be appropriate especially for the injured or bereaved.
ESS, the support services provider for defence, offshore and government, part of Compass Group, signed the Covenant in 2013. However, Compass Group recognised that more could be done to support those in the Armed Forces Community who work in other areas of the business. As one of the UK’s largest private sector employers, with 60,000 staff, the Covenant, will now cover those who work in its education; sports, leisure and hospitality; healthcare; and business and industry sectors.
Set out in the Covenant are a series of pledges which sees the company agree to:
- promote to employees within Compass Group that it is an armed forces-friendly organisation
- Seek to support the employment of veterans young and old as well as the Wounded, Injured and Sick (WIS) by working with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), in order to establish a tailored employment pathway for Service Leavers into Compass Group Business Units;
- striving to support our employees who choose to be members of the Reserve forces by empowering line managers to provide an additional 10 days paid leave; to support their training and deployment
- seek to provide service leavers with Offshore work placement experience with the intention of assisting them in gaining future employment within Compass Group at the end of their work placement, or when a vacancy becomes available;
- deliver the Armed Forces Employability Pathways (AFEP)– which will see a degree of flexibility in granting leave for service spouses and partners, during and after deployment.
- actively participate in relevant events e.g. Armed Forces Day;
- maintain the company’s working relationships and fund raising initiatives with major forces charities; SAFFA, Combat Stress;
- Continue to support and engage with Service spouses, partners and families by offering flexible employment and career opportunities
Commenting on the signing of the Covenant, Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, Secretary of State for Defence said:
“With the signing of the Armed Forces Covenant Compass Group UK & Ireland becomes the 1000th employer to take proactive steps to support our Armed Forces.
“Compass Group’s robust commitment to provide Service leavers, military spouses, Reservists and the wounded, injured and sick with career opportunities and flexible policies is truly appreciated. Our Armed Forces do a challenging job and deserve recognition. Support from businesses such as Compass Group is much valued and needed to give servicemen and women a fair chance when they leave the services.”
Dennis Hogan, Managing Director, Compass Group UK & Ireland added:
“We recognise the sacrifice made by those who serve, or have served in the armed forces, and also understand the essential support their spouses and families provide. Therefore it is only right that we seek to do what we can for our employees who are part of the Armed Forces community, by creating a more flexible and understanding work environment in which to operate. While we have a great track record of supporting members of the Armed Forces community through our ESS business, I am delighted to now be widening this out across the company.”