UK Government

Government Equalities Office: Statement from Harriet Harman, Minister for Women and Equality, on the Government's "Support for All: the Families and Relationships Green Paper":

News   •   Jan 21, 2010 11:15 GMT

"I am pleased that the Families and Relationships Green Paper reconfirms our commitment to support service families. The families of our service personnel have always held things together at home, and their task has become even more demanding with the forces fighting away in Afghanistan.

"Service wives must have the chance to get training, work and childcare. But, as I have seen first hand from my visits to military bases,  that is hard if they have to move regularly and are located on a base miles away from parents and in-laws.

"Our new initiatives demonstrate that we are committed to tackling the disadvantages faced by service families because of their unique lifestyle. The Service Family Employment Task Force will report shortly on its review of what extra help could be offered to service families looking for work.  We are putting in place Armed Forces Champions for each  Jobcentre Plus district, and we are considering how Tax Credits better support families in the Services and explore what more could be done.

"We will make sure that service families have the same access to childcare, school places and transport as the civilian population so families can access training, work and childcare."

The work on service families can be found in the Green Paper at pages 10, 11, 51, 91 and 109.


*         The Government announced a series of measures in November to support service families, including an Employment and Skills Taskforce, new Armed Forces Champions for Jobcentre Plus districts, and looking into how service families can have the same access to education and transport as the civilian community.

*         The measures add to the progress made by the cross-government 2008 Service Personnel Command Paper. This was published specifically to ensure that military families, whether based in the UK or abroad, were no longer disadvantaged in obtaining jobs, or accessing public services such as childcare, education, healthcare, and work.

*         The Government will publish a report on this work in the spring, focussing on practical steps which improve the lives of military family members.


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