Isle of Wight Council support for employees who are Armed Force reservists or veterans is being acknowledged today with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Employer Recognition Scheme’s Gold Award.
The MOD say that to receive the award, employers must:
- proactively demonstrate their forces-friendly credentials as part of their recruiting and selection processes;
- actively ensure their workforce is aware of their positive policies towards defence people issues;
- be an exemplar within their market sector, advocating support to defence people issues to partner organisations, suppliers and customers with tangible positive results;
- provide ten extra paid days leave for reservists and have supportive HR policies in place for veterans, reservists, and Cadet Force adult volunteers, as well as spouses and partners of those serving in the Armed Forces.
One member of staff, who is a reservist, said: “I cannot rate Isle of Wight Council highly enough in terms of the support they provide.
“The nature of my role in the army is such that I can be required to be away for several days at a time.
“Although every effort is made by the Army to give reasonable notice, the final dates often change shortly before departure for operational reasons.
“The council has always been very understanding of this and it has been very helpful to me to be able to make commitments to the military in the knowledge I can honour them.”
The council’s Armed Forces Champion, former soldier Councillor Ian Dore was delighted with the award.
He said: “To receive the Gold standard from the MOD is like discovering all your ration packs are devoid of biscuits brown, yet full of choccy and compo sausages! A massive win.
“Make no mistake, this is a major achievement and a huge accolade. The council is honoured to have reservists and veterans amongst our workforce, with our employment policies actively recognising this.
“Many have contributed to this, but the star player is our armed forces lead, Jayne Tyler. She has been working incredibly hard, going all the extras miles and has been the driving force behind it all. A massive salute to her for getting it across the line.
“We are incredibly pleased that our various activities, including Armed Forces Covenant sign ups and close working with partner organisations, has paid off. It’s a major result for the Island and one we should be proud of.”
Council leader, Councillor Lora Peacey-Wilcox, added: “We are proud that our forces-friendly employment policies have achieved gold status. The council greatly values the commitment made to this country by our veterans, reservists and their families and we will always do all we can to support them.”