Some countries have Defence partner employment programs which require an employer to sign a covenant or pledge as an indication of their commitment to this issue. These agreements outline the expectations of an employer to be considered ‘Defence Partner Friendly’ and their initiatives are monitored and evaluated.

Defence Families of Australia would like to see such a program here in Australia.

In the meantime, we ask employers to take the first step of educating themselves on the benefits of hiring, retaining and developing a Defence Partner as an employee and the programs and policies they can have in place to support this.

The following checklist is what we consider the gold standard of programs and policies for an employer to offer.

Download the Defence Partner Friendly Employer Checklist as a PDF

What makes an employer Defence partner friendly? Achieved?
Understands and values the business case for hiring and retaining Defence partners

This employer understands that Defence partners can be organised, resilient, flexible, adaptable, motivated, community minded, resourceful, committed, loyal and team oriented.

Many Defence partners have the recognised, valuable skills of organising, prioritising, problem solving, cultural awareness, networking, communication, leadership, the ability to work under pressure and a strong work ethic.

This employer knows targeting Defence partners as part of their hiring initiative can give them access to an untapped skilled workforce. They value the diversity that Defence partners can bring.

Yes
Is aware of and avoids bias against partners

This employer doesn’t make negative assumptions about or discriminate based upon partner status, relocation, gaps in resumes or frequent job changes.

Yes
Recruits for skills not chronological work history

A Defence partner resume may not meet traditional expectations due to gaps in employment, job changes, lack of career progression and underemployment.

This employer understands that this does not mean a partner does not have the skills, experience and potential to successfully perform the role. In fact, the factors that contribute to these experiences often result in well-developed core skills essential in an employee.

Yes
Sources and recruits via various methods

Defence partner resumes may not be compatible with large, online job boards and Applicant Tracking Systems.

This employer understands that recruiting via a range of methods including advertising on Australia-wide platforms frequented by Defence partners, advertising in niche platforms, conducting or participating in networking events, telephone and Skype interviews, preference programs, and hiring specialist consultants or recruiting firms, can benefit both employers and Defence partner jobseekers.

Yes
Offers flexible work practices and leave policies

This employer offers at least one of these options:

  • working from home (either all or part of total working hours)
  • part time work or job sharing
  • flexible working hours eg flexible start and finish times
  • accumulated extra hours which can be banked for school holidays etc.
  • unpaid or even paid time off work for emergencies
  • unpaid career breaks whilst maintaining continuity of service
  • annual leave at suitable times for the employee (taking into consideration absences from home of the Defence member)
  • more flexibility in the way leave can be used by allowing single days or increasing or removing the maximum annual limit
Yes
Offers portable career options

This employer offers remote work opportunities, internal transfers between locations.

Yes
Offers, identifies and promotes professional development and advancement opportunities.

This employer offers coaching, mentoring, leadership development programs and promotion opportunities for interested employees.

Yes
Offers paid parental leave with no or minimal tenure for eligibility. Yes
Endeavours to retain Defence partner employees on posting or other Defence related changes in circumstances

This employer does not view the change in circumstances for a Defence partner (such as a posting) as a reason for them to resign. This employer makes reasonable efforts to retain the Defence partner by offering alternative working arrangements or an internal transfer to another geographical location.

Yes

Many of the featured employers support the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program

The Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program demonstrates the importance the Government places on raising the awareness of private and public sector, employers of the value and unique experience of our veterans.

On 17 November 2016 the Prime Minister announced six initiatives under the Program, including an Industry Advisory Committee on Veterans’ Employment. The Industry Advisory Committee on Veterans’ Employment has been established to develop and provide advice on practical measures to embed veterans’ employment strategies into the recruitment practices of Australian businesses.

The Committee will play a role in the broader promotion of the skills and professional attributes that veterans have to offer Australian businesses. A sub-committee on Partner Employment has also been established.