Military spouses are hiding their military connections when applying for jobs, a new study from Barclays has revealed.

The research from the Barclays AFTER (Armed Forces Transition, Employment & Resettlement) programme shows that partners of military personnel face a number of career challenges, with as many as four in ten (39 per cent) believing that they haven’t progressed through a job application because of their partner’s career choice.

A significant number of military spouses think there is an underlying bias against hiring military spouses, with four in ten (38 per cent) believing that employers would be put off hiring someone if they knew that their partner was in the military.

It does not come as a surprise therefore that a fifth (19 per cent) of spouses have hidden the fact that they are a military partner from a potential employer.

Kevin Gartside, directot of the AFTER programme at Barclays, said: “Our Armed Forces are well known for their dedication and it’s important to remember that, behind the scenes, they’ll often be supported by an equally committed partner.

“Today’s research reminds us that this commitment can lead to military spouses having to make sacrifices in their own careers or, even worse, being potentially overlooked by employers.”

Two-thirds of military spouses feel that having a partner in the Armed Forces has negatively impacted their career in some way, with many having to sacrifice their own careers to accommodate their partner’s.

The majority of military spouses say their careers do (or did) take second place to their partner’s, while half (50 per cent) think they could have been able to focus more on their career if their partner was not in the Armed Forces.

Kevin Gartside added:“With the right support in place, employers of all sizes can help military spouses to find rewarding, challenging careers that suit their lifestyle – whether that’s offering flexible working or supporting them through the job application process.

“At Barclays, we’re committed to supporting military families and offer targeted support for spouses whose partners are in the Armed Forces, by offering work experience and CV support.”

Helen, a military spouse from Barclays’ office said: “I’ve often hidden my military connection from past employers, as I didn’t want to be seen as asking for special treatment or allowances.

“For me, one of the most challenging aspects of being a military spouse is balancing a young family and a full-time career when, often, my husband’s working schedule has to take priority.

“In previous jobs, I have felt that not being able to travel or work longer hours has hindered my career.

“It wasn’t until I became enrolled in the Barclays AFTER programme that I felt comfortable talking about my personal circumstances with my employer.

“However now I feel like I can have a transparent conversation with my colleagues and arrange my work around the needs of my family.”