Is your business setting a gold standard?

COMPANIES showing the highest levels of backing for the Armed Forces are being invited to apply for a prestigious award recognising their support for the services.

The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (DERS) encourages employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same.  It encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.

The deadline for this year’s bronze and silver award nominations has already passed and applications for the top-tier gold award must be submitted by April 15.

The ERS is designed primarily to recognise private sector support although public sector organisations such as the emergency services, local authorities, NHS trusts and executive agencies are also eligible to be recognised.

Gold award holders:

  • organisations must have signed the Armed Forces Covenant.

  • employers must have an existing relationship with their National Account Manager/REED/appropriate defence representative.

  • the employer must have already stated their intent to be supportive by using the ERS website to register at the Bronze level.

  • the employer must proactively demonstrate their forces-friendly credentials as part of their recruiting and selection processes. Where possible, they should be engaged with Career Transition Partnership (CTP) in the recruitment of service leavers.

  • employers must employ at least one individual from the armed forces community category that the nomination emphasises. For example, an employer nominated for support to the Reserves must employ at least one Reservist.

  • the employer must actively ensure that their workforce is aware of their positive policies towards defence people issues. For example, an employer nominated for support to the Reserves must have an internally publicised and positive HR policy on Reserves.

  • the employer must be an exemplar within their market sector, advocating support to Defence People issues to partner organisations, suppliers and customers with tangible positive results.

  • within the context of Reserves the employer must have demonstrated support to mobilisations or have a framework in place. They must provide at least 10 days’ additional leave for training, at no financial disadvantage to the Reservist employee.

  • the employer must not have been the subject of any negative PR or media activity.

Businesses who would like to find out more about the scheme can visit the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme website.