Service Families

Subject to operational requirements, the University will seek to provide flexibility on the timing of annual leave for staff who are partners of Service personnel before, during and after their partner’s deployment.

Also, the University will consider allowing the employee to take an extended period of leave (from their standard annual entitlement) and/or allow leave to be carried forward into the following year or brought forward from the following year.

As a service family member, it is important to have conversations with your line manager so that they are aware of your situation and how you may be feeling around your partner’s deployment. It’s probably also worth letting them know key dates and times, and that although agreed they may change at relatively short notice. Having an open dialogue with your line manager will be vital in making this flexible approach work.

Internal support


See the below considerations regarding particular times when your staff member may require support during their partner's deployment (not necessarily in priority order):

  • Being aware of important dates for the employee – Deployment dates, R&R dates, deployment return date, birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas etc
  • Understanding that news events may heighten emotions. e.g. terrorism, and reports of conflict. This may affect staff more during deployments than if it would have occurred at any other time.
  • Understanding stress and anxiety may occur due to uncertainty of what is happening (or what your staff member is imagining) with the person deployed. e.g. the risk of combat, confidentiality and operational security, not knowing what situation the partner is in, not understanding the day-to-day reality or risks, and travel to and from areas of operations.
  • Understanding that employees may be providing extra support to their deployed partners. e.g. unhappiness of being away from family/home, change of colleagues, change of work role, the stress of the situation they are in, loss of colleagues, fatigue, tiredness, and boredom.
  • Being aware that there will be a (potential) reduction in emotional and/or available support for the employee whilst their partner is away. e.g. during periods of illness, challenges of work, daily stresses may become more amplified or prominent. These may be due to issues such as time differences, shift/working patterns, specific duties which may reduce contact time, inadequate internet connection and slow mail service, reduced time to talk (may be limited to 20 mins per week during operations).

External support

  • Armed Forces Covenant – support and advice for families provides advice and support in areas such as:
    • Supporting children and education
    • Having access to healthcare
    • Having a home
    • Finance: Overseas Investment and Scam-avoidance
    • Supporting spouse/partner careers and education
    • Families Federations

The network of Information Offices and HIVEs across the UK and overseas are a valuable point of contact for Service personnel and their families, offering an extensive range of material and advice on issues such as relocation, local area information, education, accommodation, employment and training opportunities, childcare and travel.

Royal Navy Royal Marines 

Army HIVEs