Tranche one of the redundancies has seen wildly differing reactions dependent on your hopes and aspirations. In one camp we have those who are understandably deeply concerned over their name falling into the criteria for redundancy. The Army have produced a comprehensive list of all those who are eligible, either as an applicant or non-applicant, and despite assurances that the appearance of your name on the list is no indication of your ability, we know that soldiers and their families feel vulnerable as a result.
Some of those who appear on the list will already be making plans to exit the Army and will view it as an excellent opportunity to leave an organisation which they believe has dramatically altered the ‘offer’ they signed up to. Many will view the potential involvement in Libya and the reductions to the Army as a result of spending cuts brought about by the Strategic Defence and Security Review as unrealistic and will see the redundancy as an opportunity to leave a sinking ship. Families know that further commitment to operations, combined with a reduction in boots on the ground will result in their soldier deploying more frequently. The announcement of tranche one comes as reductions to allowances come into play on 1 May. Families will see their income dip and they may well be drawn towards Civvy Street for stability, a decent second income and the chance to buy their own home in a depressed housing market.
A third set will dearly wish that they were eligible for redundancy and will be disappointed that they are not able to apply at this point. Many families will have checked out the redundancy calculator and will have begun looking for work elsewhere as morale across the army remains depressed.
We are most concerned about families whose soldier is currently deployed but will have completed Post Operational Tour Leave by the time redundancies are confirmed and are therefore at risk of redundancy as a non-applicant. Whilst they may not be on tour when the redundancies are confirmed, the fact they know they are under threat is of great concern particularly when it is difficult to communicate alternative plans due to being separated by the op tour. AFF has already identified this as an issue and have asked command to provide additional ‘phone minutes for those affected. We’ll keep you posted as to their reply.
AFF Director Communications