More than a dozen Scottish organisations are to receive top awards from the Ministry of Defence for their outstanding support for the Armed Forces.
Glasgow Caledonian University, Scottish Engineering, Forrest Precision Engineering, CAMOR, Bell Decorating Group and BD Print are among a record number of forces-friendly employers set to be presented with the Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award – the highest badge of honour available to those that employ and support serving men, women, veterans and their families.
To win an award organisations must demonstrate that they provide 10 extra paid days leave for Reservists and have supportive HR policies in place for veterans, Reserves, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, spouses and partners of those serving in the Armed Forces. They also advocate the benefits of supporting those within the Armed Forces community encouraging others to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and to engage in the Employer Recognition Scheme.
2020 marks the seventh year of the awards scheme and this year 47 per cent of winners are either micro organisations or SMEs and 38 per cent are public organisations. This demonstrates both the growth in numbers and the depth of supportive employers who cover a wide range of sectors and company size.
This year’s 127 Gold award winners join a group of 226 winners from previous years, bringing the total to 353 organisations who can share their knowledge and experience on the benefits of employing those from the Armed Forces community.
Johnny Mercer, Minister for Defence People and Veterans said:
“The breadth and diversity of the winners this year shows how business support for the armed forces continues to grow no matter the sector, company size or location. I am grateful for the positive attitude and flexible policies these organisations have adopted towards the defence community, which is testament to the fantastic contribution our serving personnel, veterans and their families can make to any organisation.
“I am delighted that so many companies are supporting our people and that, through this scheme, we can give them the public recognition they deserve.”
Each winner of the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards have signed the Armed Forces Covenant, a commitment to supporting Defence through services, policy and projects.
Silver award winners must meet certain criteria, including: employing at least one individual from the Armed Forces community, actively ensuring that their workforce is aware of their positive policies, demonstrating support to mobilisations of Reservists and providing at least five days’ additional leave for training.
The following companies and organisations, based in the Lowlands of Scotland, will be presented with the Employer Recognition Scheme Silver Award:
- St Andrews Timber (West) Scotland
- Gallacher Roofing
- Lochile Construction
- Annan Athletic Football Club
- GE Photography
- Taylor Wimpey West Scotland
- Virtue Recruitment Services
Colin Vooght, Head of Engagement at Lowland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA), the organisation which manages relationships between employers and defence in Scotland, said: “I would like to congratulate the wide variety of different organisations who received a Gold or Silver award this year. This proves companies and institutions of all sizes and sectors can play their part in supporting the Armed Forces community in Scotland.
“It is particularly admirable that in spite of the consequences of the COVID 19 pandemic these employers still find the time and enthusiasm to support members of the Defence family.
“I am delighted that these employers have been recognised with the Ministry of Defence’s awards and look forward to continuing to work alongside each of the award winners in the future.”