HRH Prince Henry of Wales has presented thirty-three UK employers with an Armed Forces Covenant Gold Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) award. The award is the Ministry of Defence’s prestigious badge of honour for organisations who have demonstrated outstanding support for the Armed Forces community. Hosted by then Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, the award presentation took place on Monday 9 October at the Imperial War Museum.
HRH Prince Harry thanked this year’s winners and heard about successful initiatives providing veterans with a fair chance of starting a second career in diverse industries following military service. Other support measures in the workplace include flexibility for Reservists and mentoring and job opportunities for military spouses.
Sir Michael Fallon said:
“This year’s Gold award winners should be extremely proud of the work they are doing to live up to the Armed Forces Covenant pledge and to promote the pledge to others.
“I’m delighted to recognise employers who make it crystal clear that regardless of size, location, or sector, employing people with military skills is good for business. I hope others follow their example, thereby delivering a better deal for veterans and armed forces families.”
Welcoming their Gold Award, Mike Brown MVO, Commissioner Transport for London said:
“The technical expertise and skills that ex-service personnel have developed during their military service, such as problem-solving and working under pressure, are ideal for a number of roles within the transport industry and we are proud to count them amongst our employees.”
The employers recognised with the ERS Gold distinction in 2017 for going above and beyond their pledges under the Armed Forces Covenant:
Airbus, Balfour Beatty, City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, Combat Pest Control, DHL, DXC Technology, ER Systems Global, FDM, Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce, General Dynamics UK, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Hull City Council, Inverclyde Council, Kuehne + Nagel, Laing O'Rourke, Liverpool City Council, Mabway Ltd, ManpowerGroup UK, Metropolitan Police Service, Morson Group, Network Rail, NHS Golden Jubilee Foundation, North West Ambulance Service, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, Shropshire Council, Skanska UK Plc, Sodexo UK & Ireland, South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, Transport for London, West Midlands Fire Service, Wiltshire Council, Wolferstans Solicitors, X-Forces.
The Employer Recognition Scheme encompasses three award tiers: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Gold Award winning employers have to first make pledges under the Armed Forces Covenant, then demonstrate and advocate their support for the Armed Forces. So far, 79 employers have been recognised with a Gold award.
· The Armed Forces Covenant is: a promise by the nation, enshrined in law, that those who serve and have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly and face no disadvantage in accessing public and private services.
· Armed Forces Covenant initiatives include:
· A new agreement with mortgage lenders allowing personnel posted abroad to rent out their homes without facing higher mortgage costs or having to change their mortgage.
· Fairer mobile phone contracts, freezing the accounts of Armed Forces personnel and their families posted overseas and removing cancellation fees.
· Better deals in motor insurance, allowing personnel to keep their no claims bonuses and avoid cancellation fees when posted overseas at short notice.
· Employer networks in a wide range of sectors to support Service leavers through their transition to new careers.