Oxford Brookes signs Armed Forces Covenant in support of reservist staff

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Oxford Brookes signs Armed Forces Covenant in support of reservist staff June 2018

Ahead of Reserves Day (27 June 2018), Oxford Brookes has signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant to support reservist staff and the armed forces community.

It was a great honour to be joined by reservist staff and members of the armed forces, including an alumnus of the University, in signing the Armed Forces Covenant

Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice-Chancellor

By signing up, the University recognises the value of serving personnel, veterans and military families in contributing to the University, wider community and country.

The covenant, which was formally signed on 12 June 2018, is a national initiative involving government, businesses, local authorities, charities and the public. 

It has a simple intention of ensuring that those who serve in the armed forces - whether regular or reserve, those who have served in the past, and their families - should face no disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services.

Special consideration is also appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given most such as the injured and the bereaved.

The University has signed up to the following commitments in support of this endeavour:

• promoting the fact that it is an armed forces-friendly organisation
• endeavouring to offer a degree of flexibility in granting  leave for service spouses and partners before, during and after a partner’s deployment
• seeking to support employees who choose to be members of the Reserve forces, including by accommodating their training and deployment where possible offering support to our local cadet units, either in our local community or in local schools, where possible
• supporting Cadet Adult Instructors with paid time off to support summer camps
• aiming to actively participate in Armed Forces Day
• supporting and promoting Reserves Day.

In parallel with this the University has also revised its policy to support staff who are reservists or Cadet Adult Instructors. These changes seek to be more supportive with time off for training as well as greater support for those staff who might be called up for military service.

Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes, said: “It was a great honour to be joined by reservist staff and members of the armed forces, including an alumnus of the University, in signing the Armed Forces Covenant.

"This, alongside our introduction of a new policy to support reservists and Cadet Adult Instructors, displays our commitment as an employer to those in the armed forces. I look forward to Reserves Day and to helping to recognise those reservist staff here at Oxford Brookes.”

A number of staff are reservists at Oxford Brookes. Professor Vince Connelly has been carrying out research on the “lived experience” of UK Reservists as part of an ESRC funded programme to understand how Reservists juggle family, civilian work and part time military commitments.

The four projects funded under this programme will be presenting their results at a one day impact conference to key decision makers at the Ministry of Defence in London on Reserves Day on 27 June 2018.

Professor Connelly also recently led a research project reporting on welfare provision for the families of UK reservists that made a number of recommendations to improve support.

In addition to this, Professor Connelly is himself an Army Reservist and is presently commanding a communications unit that provides support to military units involved in assisting the civilian authorities in emergencies such as flood or other natural disasters.

Oxford Brookes is supporting Reserves Day on Wednesday 27 June 2018. On this day, the University’s reservists staff may choose to wear their uniform in their civilian life at the University. 


Picture caption:

Back row (from left to to right): Eleanor On, student at University College Oxford and Officer Cadet; Ben Cooper, HR Business Partner; Tom Wall, student at Oxford Brookes and Officer Cadet; Kate Lole, Regional Employer Engagement Director, Reserve Forces and Cadets Association (RFCA).

Front row: Professor Vincent Connelly, Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development; Brigadier Hugh J Robertson QVRM TD VR; Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University; Major Alexander Bathurst, University of Oxford Officers' Training Corps.