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British military personnel will now be able to apply for wider flexible working opportunities, after the passing of the Armed Forces (Flexible Working) Bill into law.

Those serving in the armed forces will have the opportunity to apply to serve part-time for certain periods and to restrict the amount of time spent away from their home base and families.

Applications will be judged against the need of the Armed Forces, and personnel would be required to deploy should cases of emergency arise.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“This change will make it significantly easier for our dedicated Armed Forces to raise their children, care for elderly relatives, or look after an ill family member.”

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Tobias Ellwood said: “Flexible work is key to retaining our expert personnel who we’ve invested in during their military career.

“Personnel have told us they want more flexibility and we have listened – that’s what this Act delivers.”

In the UK, 96% of employers already offer flexible working for some of their employees.

Back in 2017, the then Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said flexible working was “essential to a modern military”. The Defence Secretary also commented that the then proposed legislation to make military life more flexible will make it significantly easier for women with children.

Personnel would still be required to deploy on operations, if needed, under the measures, which are due to come into effect in 2019.

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