Marks and Spencer has signed an Armed Forces Covenant to reaffirm its commitment to be a forces friendly employer, in celebration of Armed Forces Day (25 June).
Seven years after its original commitment to the covenant in 2015, representatives from the Ministry of Defence and the Royal British Legion joined for the signing at the retailer’s ecommerce distribution centre in Castle Donington.
By signing, the business has recommitted to offering specialist support, including 10 days of extra leave for reservists to attend training, providing tailored, confidential guidance about mental, physical, emotional wellbeing and financial health, and increasing its recruitment of all members of the Forces by signing up to the Careers Transition Partnership and Forces Family Jobs.
As part of its commitment, the business has launched a Veterans Network for all members of the Forces community and their allies, co-chaired by veterans and veterans’ families withinthe workforce. The online network aims to provide a safe space for members, raise awareness in the workplace, and support business-wide activities.
Paul Burns, head of operations clothing and home logistics and Veteran’s Network sponsor at Marks and Spencer, said: “We are pleased to celebrate our commitment to supporting our veterans by updating and signing our Armed Forces covenant in Castle Donington and achieving our prestigious silver status.
“We see first-hand the benefits and skillsets that employing ex-service personnel can bring to a business day in, day out. Veterans play a vital part in sharing knowledge and experience across the M and S family, and we will continue to champion their positive role in the business.”
Leo Docherty, Minister for Defence People and Veterans, added: “Through their commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant, companies like M and S are offering meaningful employment options and support for those transitioning from military to civilian life, and ensuring a positive contribution from them to the business community. I am delighted to see M and S today reaffirm their commitment to this pledge supporting our personnel and contribute to our defence capability.”
Marks and Spencer currently employs more than one thousand military veterans, reservists, volunteers and spouses in its stores, as well as in its support centres in London, Salford, Chester and Castle Donington.