As the RAF celebrates its' Centenary Year we are taking time to focus on Flexible Working Opportunities within all Uniformed Services

Flexible Work in the RAF:

Women will make RAF fighting units stronger because of their "emotional intelligence", its head of recruiting has said. 

In September 2017 it became the first military service to open all roles to both men and women, following the lifting of a Government ban on women in close combat roles.

Commanders have always had a degree of discretion to be able to afford members of the Armed Forces certain flexibilities to enable them to better manage life’s demands whilst delivering operational output and since 2005, a range of flexible working policies have been introduced for Service personnel; these include variable start and finish times, compressed hours, home working and career intermissions.

Service personnel are able to apply for enhanced flexible working opportunities after the Armed Forces Flexible Working Bill was introduced in February 2018. The Armed Forces (Flexible Working) Bill is to deliver FES. FES recognises that many Service personnel have to balance service life with a variety of personnel responsibilities, such as caring for young families or for disabled, sick or elderly relatives.

Find out more about jobs in the RAF here.


If you would like a challenging but rewarding career assisting and protecting your community, working in the police force may appeal to you.

Part-time working, job-sharing and flexible hours are available. Career breaks are possible after the probationary period. The Police Force is keen to promote flexible working and will, subject to operational policing requirements, proactively consider all applications to work flexibly.


If you have an interest in contributing to the work of your local Force but aren't able to or interested in taking a full time or paid post.

There are a number of volunteer roles available for those interested in working within the Police Service in their spare time.  Forces have different needs, or contact your local force for details of volunteering opportunities in your area or check the Citizens in Policing site.

Find more about working for the Police here.

Fire and Rescue Service:

LONG thought of as a male dominated profession, the Fire and Rescue Service champions steps made to make the workplace appeal to both men and women. As the service celebrated International Women’s Day in March 2018, it called for more females to join. However, this is currently only five per cent of the operational workforce. But women do play a crucial role, as we saw London Fire Brigade Chief Danny Cotton lead the Fire Service response to the terrible tragedy at Grenfell Tower. She has been a fantastic role-model for women in the fire and rescue service nationally.

Chair of the Fire Authority Councillor Judith Hughes said:

“It may be that women feel this job will not fit around their lifestyles, especially if they are mums, or want to be mums….”

“There are also plenty of operational firefighters who are mums who work for us who benefit from the shift patterns which, for example, can be two day shifts, two night shifts and then four days off giving them flexibility around work/life balance. Some people use their days off to enjoy sporting pursuits and some even utilise it to run a small business they have dreamt of! So if you do not want to work an average 9am-5pm in an office environment then this could be an opportunity to do something completely new, working outdoors and saving lives.”

Find out more about working for Fire and Rescue Service here.


In December 2015, the Army introduced a flexible duties trial which later was joined by the RAF. The trial offers participants part-time working and a reduced liability to deploy; this programme will continue until March 2019. The results so far indicate that part-time working options were well received by those who took part. Applications were predominantly from lower ranked officers in their late 20s or early 30s, and two thirds of applicants were female.

Become an Army Reserve Soldier and serve from just 19 days a year. With the Army Reserve, you’ll get to do something different with your time. Learn new skills make friends and get paid too. The training you will need to be a reserve is flexible and can fit around your life.

To find out more about becoming an Army Reserve Soldier take a look here

The Royal Navy

For most people, the demands of a job and family life are challenging enough. However, some have ambitions that go beyond the everyday. You may be one of them. If so, you can learn new skills and contribute to vital operations in the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR). And if that’s not tough enough for you, there’s the Royal Marines Reserve, where you could become one of our most elite soldiers, and wear the green beret to prove it.

There’ll be times when you need real determination and motivation to balance your home, work and reservist commitments. In return, we’ll give you the opportunity to see places and do things most people only dream of, with some of the best friends you’ll ever make.

Ready to join or find out more about working for the Royal Marine reserves here

Ambulance Service

If you are kind, caring and conscientious why not join the Ambulance Service Volunteers providing essential A&E support, event services support, patient transport, bariatric service and repatriation to patients in need.

If you care about ensuring patients are kept safe, reassured and comfortable in a demanding environment, we’d love to have you on our team. Take a look here to find out how you could become a St John’s Ambulance volunteer.

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