49 local organisations receive the Ministry of Defence’s highest badge of honour

On Wednesday 17th November, employers and organisations from across London, East Anglia and the South East attended a ceremony at the Honourable Artillery Company 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 awards were presented by the Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin MP.

Nationally, a record breaking 140 organisations received the award this year and instead of one national event, four regional ceremonies were organised to celebrate those that employ and support individuals who serve, veterans and their families. In addition to the London event, ceremonies also took place in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Leeds.

The Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Leo Docherty said: “I would like to thank all the organisations who have proven their support for the Defence community during such unprecedented and challenging times.

“The vast range of those recognised this year demonstrates how employing the Armed Forces community makes a truly positive and beneficial impact for all employers, regardless of size, sector or location.”

To win an award, organisations must provide ten 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.

This year, organisations include NHS trusts, educational institutions, financial services, hotels, charities, law firms, police services, football clubs and museums. Nearly 50 per cent are a small or medium-sized enterprise and 72 per cent are private companies, demonstrating the wide range of organisations offering support to the military community regardless of size, sector or location.