For dependants in employment, there are certain things that you need to think about before you move back to the UK.

Employment

Employment Reference

Your LSU will be able to provide you with a reference on request - please allow eight weeks for processing.

Maternity / Paternity

If you are in receipt of Statutory Maternity or Adoption pay when you rebase, payment will continue for eligible employees until the 39 week period is exhausted. The LSU will require your UK bank details and a forwarding address. 

National Insurance Contributions

Keep hold of your final payslip as it will show your National Insurance Contributions made whilst employed by BFG. This will be important when or if you need to claim benefits. If you have gaps in your employment history you may be entitled to National Insurance Credits.

National Insurance Credits

If you have accompanied your partner on an overseas assignments, you may have taken a break from work. As a result you might have gaps in your National Insurance contributions record which could affect your future State Pension entitlement and contribution based benefits such as Jobseeker’s Allowance. You may be able to fill these gaps with National Insurance credits.

On 6 April 2010, the Government introduced a National Insurance credit for individuals who accompany their spouse or civil partner on an overseas posting as a member of the Armed Forces. These credits are available for periods since 6 April 2010 during which the individual accompanied their serving spouse or civil partner on postings overseas. 

To apply for National Insurance credits a spouse/civil partner must apply to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) using the form available on www.gov.uk/national-insurance-credits/eligibility. The form is only available online and must be printed and completed. Once completed, the form must be signed and stamped by your UWO to validate the application. Before you sign the form your UWO must verify that the information provided on the form is correct. You should apply no more than four months before you leave. 

For further details on National Insurance Credits available for partners of people in the Armed Forces visit: www.gov.uk/national-insurance-credits/eligibility

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Certificates

 If applying for employment in the UK to work with vulnerable groups or applying for a university/college place you may be asked to obtain a DBS Certificate. This certificate is a record of any relevant criminal history and is normally issued by DBS or Disclosure (Scotland). However, if you have been living and working in the Service Community overseas for the past five years of more, then the Disclosure Offices in the UK will not hold any relevant information on your criminal status overseas and you may be asked by prospective employers to provide a “Good Conduct Certificate” for the period covering your stay in Germany. For further information, please visit bfgnet.de/employment/lec-support/good-conduct-certificate.html 

Handing in Your Notice

You will need to give the Labour Support Unit (LSU) eight weeks’ notice of your departure. If you have worked for the LSU for two years or more, you may be eligible for a gratuity upon departure, but this only applies if you provide a full eight weeks’ notice. However, if you are posted at short notice and cannot give the full notice period you can discuss this with your LSU representative. Make an appointment to see them as soon as you can. Further details are available from bfgnet.de/employment 

When you leave the LSU, they will issue you with a BFG Form 126. This confirms your period of employment with BFG and reason for leaving work. This document may prove useful when visiting your local Job Centre once in the UK.

Jobseekers' Allowance

If you are unemployed and looking for work, Jobseekers’ Allowance is the main benefit you can claim. This is a taxable benefit. If you are employed in BFG the LSU will issue you with a BFG From 126, which may prove useful when applying for Jobseekers’ Allowance. You should register as a Jobseeker at your new location. For further information please visit www.gov.uk/jobseekers-allowance  

Settling in Germany?

If you are currently a member of the British Forces Germany as military, UKBC or dependant, you might be intending to stay in Germany. This is formally known as a Transfer of Residence. Tax and welfare matters vary depending on the Stadt in which you wish to settle. You will need to contact them directly to determine how these will be applied to your individual circumstances.

The Career Transition Partnership (CTP) assists with advice on settlement in Germany, such as employment. They have produced a guide on living in Germany which you can find on their website www.ctp.org.uk

NB: There are processes that you must follow in order to keep any tax and duty relief that you received when buying high value goods or vehicles.

Top Tip!

Leading job websites for UK employments: 

www.indeed.co.uk 

www.reed.co.uk 

www.totaljobs.com 

www.cwjobs.co.uk 

www.adzuna.co.uk 

www.glassdoor.com 

www.linkedin.com 

Training

There are some great support organisations available to provide assistance if you are looking to step back on to the employment ladder in the UK or you just want a bit of a hand to ensure that you maximise your talents in the job market. 

Did You Know?

Experiences gained in voluntary posts can impress future employers, so make sure all your achievements are recorded.

Army Education Centre

The Army Education Centre in Paderborn (41 AEC) runs a wide range of courses from employability workshops to functional skills, languages, life in the UK workshops and much more. For a full range of what is on offer at the Army education centre visit BFGnet or contact 41 AEC on:

  • BFPO address: Block 85b, Normandy Barracks BFPO 16
  • Civilian address: Block 85b Normandy Barracks, Bielefelder Str 54, 33104 Sennelager 

For general enquires, please contact Bielefeld e-LC on:

  • BFPO address: Block 8 Catterick Barracks, BFPO 39
  • Civilian address: Block 8, Catterick Barracks, Detmolder Str 440, 33605 Bielefeld
  • Opening hours: 0830-1600hrs Mon – Thu and 0830-1200hrs Fri
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For details on all course updates and AEC news visit:

Useful Resources

RECRUIT FOR SPOUSES is an independent organisation designed specifically to support spouses of Service men and women. Recruit for Spouses can help with CV writing, interview techniques and they can introduce you to businesses who support the military community. To find out more, visit www.recruitforspouses.co.uk

BUSINESS START-UP PROGRAMME. The University of Wolverhampton business start-up programme, Supporting the Unsung Hero (www.wlv.ac.uk) has been developed specifically for Service dependents offering support to start-up and maintain a business. The 10 month programme aims to equip participants with transferable skills and the ability to start-up a business.

RBL LIFEWORKS. If you are looking at restarting your career, or going out to work for the first time, then the RBL employability workshop could greatly enhance your prospects. The programme is delivered in partnership with the MOD and is a vocational assessment and employability course – www.wearelifeworks.org.uk

(Useful Resources provided by AFF)

Top Tip!

Have a CV that stands out!

No matter what kind of employment you are seeking a good CV is essential. The AFF website has links to a range of organisations that are available to help you. aff.org.uk

Did You Know?

You could still be eligible for student finance funding to assist your study whilst you are overseas. You will need to use your BFPO address to apply.

Gaining Local Employment: Wiltshire

Abacus Employment Services

www.abacus-employment.com 

Alpha People

www.alphap.co.uk

24/7 Staffing

www.24-7staffing.co.uk

Adecco UK Ltd

www.adecco.co.uk

Gi Group

www.gigroupuk.com/branch-locator 

Personnel Selection

www.personnelselection.co.uk 

Personnel Placements

wwww.personnel-placements.co.uk

Employment on Unit/Garrison

Sodexo (applications online) - Catering, Cleaning, Costcutter

www.sodexojobs.co.uk

Aspire Defence Services - Construction, Catering, Cleaning, Retail and Clerical 

www.aspiredefence.co.uk 

General Internet

Job search www.indeed.co.uk/jobs-in-wiltshire

Jobs in Health www.jobs.nhs.uk

Wiltshire Council www.wiltshire.gov.uk/jobs-at-the-council 

Hampshire Council www.hants.gov.uk/jobs