The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) recognises those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their efforts to support the Armed Forces community.
It’s the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) prestigious badge of honour for organisations that have demonstrated and advocated outstanding assistance to reserves, cadets, veterans and their families.
Hundreds of private employers from across the country have been singled out for celebration and public sector employers are also eligible. The ERS has seen emergency services and NHS Local Health Boards win awards alongside small medium-sized enterprises and major commercial companies.
There are different stages to the scheme and employers can be eligible for gold, silver and bronze awards depending on their level of support.
The gold and silver awards are presented at prestigious annual ceremonies in London and Cardiff, respectively. The events are opportunities to celebrate the strong relationships between the armed forces and employers in Wales and the United Kingdom.
“Every year, the ERS pays tribute to those employers who are continuing to find effective ways to provide services, policies and projects in the community,” said Audrey Nealon, Regional Employer Engagement Director at the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA) for Wales.
“These employers provide inspiration for others to follow in their footsteps. We’re delighted to see Welsh workplaces become more creative and flexible in their methods to support the Armed Forces. The strength of the ERS continues to grow and we warmly welcome new employers who wish to take their first step and pledge their support.”
Last year, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council received their gold award from Prince Harry at the Imperial War Museum. Shortly afterwards, more than 200 people attended the Silver ERS Awards Ceremony, which was held in partnership with the Armed Forces in Wales Awards 2017 at Cardiff City Stadium.
All award winners must align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant, a pledge from the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly and signed the pledge.