Friday, 12 July 2024

VA makes historic commitments to hire and support military spouses

WASHINGTON, DC – The Department of Veterans Affairs has signed the 4+1 Commitment — a partnership between government and private employers developed by Blue Star Families, Hiring Our Heroes and Department of Defense’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership to hire and support military spouses.

This commitment, championed by Dr. Jill Biden, is a voluntary commitment by employers to adopt at least one of the following military spouse employment policies that could expand employment and career opportunities for military spouses: 1) facilitate job transferability; 2) offer remote or telework; 3) offer flexible work hours; 4) provide paid or permissive Permanent Change of Station (PCS) leave. VA has committed to all four of those policies, as well as extending Leave Without Pay status to military spouses whose active-duty military members receive PCS orders.

This effort is part of President Biden’s Executive Order 14100, “Advancing Economic Security for Military and Veteran Spouses, Military Caregivers, and Survivors,” a plan to address unemployment for the 16,000+ military-connected spouses in the federal workforce.

“To build the strongest possible workforce to serve our nation’s heroes, we need to hire and support military spouses – many of whom are Veterans themselves,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “We at VA are proud to make these commitments and support our nation’s military spouses every way we can.”

“As a military spouse, I know firsthand that these commitments will make a real difference,” said VA Chief of Staff Kimberly Jackson. “Military spouses are some of the most talented and dedicated professionals in the public and private sector, and by making these commitments, VA will be better positioned to recruit and retain these public servants as we execute our nation’s most sacred obligation: caring for Veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors.”

While VA will continue to work to fulfill the 4+1 commitments, VA already supports military spouses in many ways, including:

Facilitating job transferability: VA supports the reassignment of military spouses to vacant funded positions for which they are qualified when required to move as part of the service member’s military service. Military spouse employees will be offered leave without pay in instances where reassignment is not feasible.

Offering remote or telework: VA offers telework and remote work positions into which military spouses can be appointed. VA uses the remote jobs filter on USAJobs to post these announcements, making it easier for military spouses to find these employment opportunities with VA. Additionally, VA policies allow employees to request authorization for telework if their spouse in the military received orders for reassignment or relocation.

Domestic Employees Teleworking Overseas, or DETO policy and program: VA currently supports employees on approved DETO agreements, which allows employees to receive authorization from VA and the Department of State to work overseas if their spouse in the military received orders for an overseas assignment.

Offering flexible work hours:Recognizing the ever-changing demands of military life, VA policy provides military spouses opportunities to request flexible work hours or compressed work schedules.

Providing paid or permissive PCS leave:VA leave approving officials can approve up to five paid administrative leave days for PCS.

DoD’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership: VA has been a part of MSEP since Fall 2019.

For more information about working at VA, visit https://www.va.gov/jobs/.

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