Armed Forces employment offer

Outline of the employment offer that OCC offers to those affiliated with the Armed Forces

Employment offer

Oxfordshire County Council has an employment offer to its employees, present and future, from the armed forces community.

Support for all

We have a number of employment policies and schemes which are designed to be inclusive to ensure every employee of Oxfordshire County Council is well supported. For example, our Flexible Working Scheme and Employee Assistance Programme.

The Flexible Working Scheme offers every employee the opportunity to formally request permanent or temporary changes to their contracted hours or patterns or working. This may mean altering days and/or times they work to achieve a desired work-life balance or to fulfil caring responsibilities; it might also be a request to work from home on specific days.

The Employee Assistance Programme is a free, confidential personal support service provided by the council for all employees. It offers expert advice and information along with specialist counselling on matters such as Family and personal crisis, Illness, Debt, Bereavement, Benefits and tax credits, Relationships, and Legal advice.

There are numerous, similar policies, schemes and networks in place which seek to ensure all those working at Oxfordshire County Council have the support they need to do their jobs.

We recognise that the nature of life in the armed forces is different. Personnel and their families can be required to move around the country or abroad (often at short notice), making local integration more challenging and meaning service families can be isolated from their support networks. People with an armed forces background are often highly skilled and have a strong work ethic. However, they can encounter challenges explaining how their skills and knowledge transfer into civilian roles. In recognition that life in the services can be different; the following summarises the policies and schemes which are particularly relevant for staff with an armed forces connection.

Service-leavers

We understand leaving the services can be a time of significant change. To help and support those transitioning from service to civilian life, we offer work-placement and work experience opportunities.

Our offer to service-leavers:

  • Guaranteed interview for those meeting the essential criteria for the role, within three years of leaving the service
  • Consideration of work placement and work experience opportunities for those transitioning out of the services. This is one or two weeks of unpaid experience
  • A Buddy system for new staff, with an option to buddy with a member of staff with armed forces experience
  • Informal staff network of armed forces
  • Armed Forces Service Champions to represent the views of armed forces employees

Existing and potential reservists

Oxfordshire County Council employ staff who are members of the Reserve Forces and recognise the valuable contribution that reservists make to the Armed Forces and their civilian workplace. The council supports the training undertaken by reservists which enables them to develop skills and abilities that can be of benefit to them as employees, and to the council in terms of service delivery.

Our offer to reservists

  • Two weeks extra paid leave (under the Special Leave Policy) to attend annual reservist training. Additional unpaid leave or annual leave from the employee’s normal annual allocation may be granted for short periods of training, provided adequate notice is given and where such training cannot be undertaken in off-duty time
  • A flexible working policy to assist with military commitments
  • Management support in preparation for, during and after mobilisation
  • Access to an Occupational Health service
  • Access to an Employee Assistance Programme, a confidential support and counselling service
  • Eligibility for sickness absence pay in line with terms and conditions
  • Eligibility for maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave in line with terms and conditions
  • Death in service scheme
  • Recognition given to training and experience relevant to employment in Oxfordshire County Council. This is included on personal records and personal development plans
  • A Buddy system with an option to buddy with a member of staff with armed forces experience
  • Informal staff network of armed forces
  • Armed Forces Service Champions to represent the views of armed forces employees

Armed Forces spouses

Although armed forces’ spouses may not be deployed or have the same direct impacts, we recognise being a spouse of someone in the armed forces can present unique challenges. We help and support those with a spouse in the services (including reservists) through our flexible and agile working arrangements.

Our offer to military spouses

  • Childcare voucher scheme
  • A flexible working policy and leave policy to support with leave around deployments/mobilisations. Our Flexible Working Scheme offers every employee the opportunity to formally request permanent or temporary changes to their contracted hours or patterns or working. This may mean altering days and/or times they work to achieve a desired work-life balance or to fulfil caring responsibilities; it might also be a request to work from home on specific days.
  • Agile working arrangements and equipment to enable working from different locations as required
  • Carers Policy to support those with caring responsibilities
  • Management support in preparation for, during and after mobilisation
  • Access to an Occupational Health service
  • Access to an Employee Assistance Programme, a confidential support and counselling service
  • Eligibility for sickness absence pay in line with terms and conditions
  • Eligibility for maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave in line with terms and conditions
  • A Buddy system with an option to buddy with a member of staff with armed forces experience
  • Informal staff network of armed forces
  • Armed Forces Service Champions to represent the views of armed forces employees

Veterans

We know that the skills and experiences of veterans can add significant value in our workforce. We are keen to ensure veterans are encouraged to apply for roles within the council and are supported to maximise their potential.

Our offer to veterans

  • Guaranteed interview for those meeting the essential criteria for the role, within in three years of leaving the service
  • Carers Policy to support those with caring responsibilities
  • A Flexible Working Scheme offers every employee the opportunity to formally request permanent or temporary changes to their contracted hours or patterns or working.
  • Access to an Occupational Health service
  • Access to an Employee Assistance Programme, a confidential support and counselling service
  • Eligibility for sickness absence pay in line with terms and conditions
  • Eligibility for maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave in line with terms and conditions
  • A Buddy system with an option to buddy with a member of staff with armed forces experience
  • Informal staff network of armed forces
  • Armed Forces Service Champions to represent the views of armed forces employees

Cadet Force adult volunteers

The council encourages employees to undertake voluntary work. For those wishing to become an Army Cadet Adult volunteer, the council’s Employee Volunteering policy allows up to two paid days (15 hours) per year for volunteering. Employees must match this with two days (15 hours) of their own time (pro rata for part time).

  • Volunteering policy gives two days (15 hours) paid leave for volunteering activities (pro rata for part time employees)
  • A Flexible Working Scheme and leave policy to support with leave around commitments. This offers every employee the opportunity to formally request permanent or temporary changes to their contracted hours or patterns or working. This may mean altering days and/or times they work to achieve a desired work-life balance or to fulfil caring responsibilities; it might also be a request to work from home on specific days.
  • Management support of volunteering activities
  • Access to an Occupational Health service
  • Access to an Employee Assistance Programme, a confidential support and counselling service
  • Eligibility for sickness absence pay in line with terms and conditions
  • Eligibility for maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave in line with terms and conditions
  • Death in service scheme
  • Recognition given to training and experience relevant to employment in Oxfordshire County Council. This is included on personal records and personal development plans
  • A Buddy system with an option to buddy with a member of staff with armed forces experience
  • Informal staff network of armed forces
  • Armed Forces Service Champions to represent the views of armed forces employees

Working for Oxfordshire County Council

We know that the skills and experiences of those who have been in the Armed Forces can add significant value in our workforce. We are keen to ensure veterans, reservists and those with family in the Armed Forces are encouraged to apply for roles within the council and are supported to maximise their potential.

Over 14,000 skilled and experienced individuals leave the Armed Forces each year. Ex-service personnel have strong:

  • Communication skills
  • Organisation and commitment
  • Problem solving and adaptability
  • Leadership and management skills
  • Health and safety, security awareness
  • Team working

Case studies

Read about three people who joined the council after leaving the military