Discrimination against Navy veterans must be ‘made illegal’, MP says

HMS Richmond. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
HMS Richmond. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Soldiers on house clearance and contact drills within the Urban Defence Training Area of Sennelager Training Centre.

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  • Shadow defence minister urges government to make it illegal for businesses to discriminate against formed armed forces personnel
  • Defence Minister says armed forces covenant is used to outline how veterans should be treated
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Discrimination by employers against Royal Navy, Army and RAF veterans should be outlawed, Labour MPs have said.

Shadow defence minister Gerald Jones urged the government to make it illegal for businesses to be biased against former armed forces personnel.

Our veterans are some of the most hard-working, dedicated and experienced men and women that any employer could ask for.

Shadow defence minister Gerald Jones

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Mark Lancaster said the government is already working to ensure employers recognise the value of veterans through the armed forces covenant.

The covenant sets out the nation’s moral obligation to members of the armed forces and their families and outlines how they should be treated.

Mr Jones said during defence questions: ‘Our veterans are some of the most hard-working, dedicated and experienced men and women that any employer could ask for.

‘And yet many of us have heard troubling stories of discrimination against former service men and women in the jobs market.

‘Does the minister agree with the Labour Party that we should act to make discrimination against the forces community illegal in order to protect our veterans and service personnel from any prejudice they may face.’

Mr Lancaster replied: ‘I welcome you to the despatch box and couldn’t agree more with your opening comments and perhaps you need to educate some of your colleagues about that.

‘But this is precisely why we have the armed forces covenant because I think at this early stage this is exactly what we are trying to do through that mechanism to ensure that the value of our veterans is fully understood by the wider society.’