Employers and organisations from across East Anglia attended a ceremony at the Cabinet War Rooms in London to receive their Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Awards; the Ministry of Defence’s highest badge of honour in recognition of supporting the Armed Forces Community. The Gold ERS 2023 awards were presented by Brigadier Richard Hart, Head of Global Campaigns, Security Policy & Operations on behalf of the Ministry of Defence at the event on Thursday 28th September.
Nationally, 193 organisations were awarded gold this year; a record high since the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme launched in 2013.
The winners across East Anglia were:
- Brentwood Borough Council (Essex)
- East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (Essex)
- Essex Bulk Services LTD (Essex)
- HENSOLDT UK (Hertfordshire)
- James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (Norfolk)
- Johnson Controls UK (Essex)
- Lotus (Norfolk)
- Magpas Air Ambulance (Cambridgeshire)
- Reactive Integrated Services Ltd (Essex)
- Seetec Business Technology Centre Ltd (Essex)
- Vertas Group Limited (Suffolk)
Dr Andrew Murrison, Minister for Defence People, Veterans and Service Families, said: “I would like to thank all the organisations that have been recognised in this year’s awards. I’m delighted that we have seen so many organisations recognised with a gold award. Their continued support demonstrates the unique benefits and strengths that our Armed Forces community can bring to the workplace.”
To win an award, organisations must provide 10 extra paid days leave for Reservists and have supportive HR policies in place for veterans, Reserves, and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, as well as spouses and partners of those serving in the Armed Forces.
Organisations must also advocate the benefits of supporting those within the Armed Forces community by encouraging others to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and engage in the Employer Recognition Scheme.
Organisations across a range of sectors including transportation, education, finance, and healthcare have been recognised in the Gold ERS 2023 awards. Of the Gold Award winners, 28% are either micro or small sized organisations, while 47% are large organisations with over 500 employees. This not only demonstrates the importance of the Covenant, but the skills and benefits that ex-service personnel can bring businesses.
Jonathan Stephenson, Chief Executive, Brentwood Borough Council, said: “We are delighted to receive the Gold Award. Brentwood has a long history of supporting our Armed Forces personnel of past, present and future and that’s why for us, as a local authority, it is important we do the same. We are proud of our Military association through the historic Warley Barracks and the East Anglian Regiment – to the strong relationship with our local Reservist partners. To receive the Gold Award in the ERS is a reflection of our strong commitment to the Services and to our employees, councillors and residents who have served or continue to serve.”
Matt Windle, Group VP and Managing Director, Lotus; commented: “It’s an honour to be recognised for our work and receive the Gold Award in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.” Lotus is committed to supporting the Armed Forces. Over the past few years, we have put the right policies in place internally and attract talent that brings a unique skill set that enhances our workforce and contributes to delivering our strategic objectives.”
Regional Employer Engagement Director for East Anglia, Kristina Carrington, is a local point of call for reservists’ employers on behalf of Defence Relationship Management for the Ministry of Defence. She and her team organised the event at the Churchill War Rooms on behalf of Defence and provide year-round support to employers in East Anglia. Support includes providing information on legal rights and responsibilities as an employer; reserves’ and adult volunteers’ training commitments and how they can affect employers; and guidance on how to get the best out of your reserve or cadet force adult volunteer employee. The Employer Engagement team and the county RFCA Employer Engagement groups also nurture a network of employers who are supportive of the Armed Forces, and encourage more employers to sign the Armed Forces Covenant, or apply for a Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Award. Contact Kristina today for avice and support.