Nearly 200 organisations have been recognised by the UK Government for supporting the Armed Forces community, as they are announced as this year’s Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award holders. A record high since the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme launched in 2013.

The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award, the highest badge of honour, recognises the positive role that employers play in supporting the Armed Forces community.

This year, organisations across a range of sectors including transportation, education, finance, and healthcare have been recognised in the 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.

Within the West Midland Reserve Forces & Cadets Association’s region we are pleased to congratulate 14 employers in reaching this amazing achievement. Thank you for all you do:

  • Cadent Gas
  • CODA Security Limited
  • Great Dawley Town Council
  • Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce
  • Orbit Group
  • Palletways (UK) Limited
  • Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land Limited
  • Severn Trent Water
  • Staffordshire County Council
  • Stoke-on-Trent City Council
  • Walk Talk Action CIC
  • West Mercia Search & Rescue
  • West Midlands Fire Service

Minister for Defence People, Veterans and Service Families, Dr Andrew Murrison 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 a Gold award from the Ministry of Defence, organisations must provide ten extra paid days leave for Reservists, and have supportive HR policies in place for Reservists, Veterans, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers and the spouses and partners of those serving in the Armed Forces.

They must also advocate the benefits of supporting those within the Armed Forces community, by encouraging other organisations to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and engage with the Employer Recognition Scheme.

Chief Executive Officer at STEPWAY CIO, Dawn Turner said:

“I am incredibly proud of what we’re doing as a charity to champion the Employer Recognition Scheme. To receive the Gold Award is testament to the wonderful Veteran led team we have at STEPWAY CIO.  We go above and beyond supporting members of the Armed Forces community. Therefore, it is a huge morale boost to be recognised for the work we do.  We are dedicated in encouraging others to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and support them on their journey. Together we can create a positive and lasting impact on the lives of Veterans, personnel, and forces’ families.”

 CEO at Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, Sharon Smith said:

“As a Gold Award holder, we will continue to promote our advocacy via support and collaboration with members, through our events and via regular engagement with businesses across the two counties. We will also ensure that HR policies are updated to include a comprehensive Reserve Forces Training Mobilisation policy, so that the Armed Forces community is not disadvantaged.”

Read more about the Armed Forces Covenant

Find out which organisations have received their Bronze, Silver or Gold awards on the Employer Recognition Scheme.


Published 12/07/2023