Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS) has received the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Silver Award.
The award was presented by the Lord Lieutenants of both Dorset and Wiltshire at separate ceremonies; Army reservist Dean Hoskins, a Watch Manager at Swindon fire station, joined Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell at the Wiltshire event, while Royal Navy reservist John Lincoln, the Service’s Health & Safety Advisor, accompanied CFO Ansell at the Dorset event.
Employers that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant, can be considered for the awards. Although the scheme is designed primarily to recognise private sector support, public sector organisations such as the emergency services, local authorities, NHS trusts and executive agencies are also eligible to be recognised.
CFO Ben Ansell said: “’ am delighted that the Service now holds this award. Given the significant military presence in our Service area, which includes Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force personnel, this scheme is a good way for us, as an employer, to show our support for our armed forces. It also reaffirms our commitment and engagement with veterans, reservists and military spouses.
‘We employ a number of veterans and military spouses and support a number of our staff in their role as reservists. Our relationship with the armed forces is a strong one and we are also collaborating in areas such as recruitment and retention, equality, diversity and inclusion, and leadership.
Silver award holders:
- must have signed the Armed Forces Covenant
- the employer must have already stated their intent to be supportive by using the ERS website to register at the Bronze level
- the employer must proactively demonstrate that service personnel/armed forces community are not unfairly disadvantaged as part of their recruiting and selection processes
- employers must employ at least one individual from the armed forces community category that the nomination emphasises. For example, an employer nominated for support to the Reserves must employ at least one Reservist
- the employer must actively ensure that their workforce is aware of their positive policies towards defence people issues. For example, an employer nominated for support to the Reserves must have an internally publicised and positive HR policy on Reserves
- within the context of Reserves the employer must have demonstrated support to mobilisations or have a framework in place. They must demonstrate support to training by providing at least 5 days’ additional unpaid/paid leave (wherever possible not to Reservist employees’ financial disadvantage)
- the employer must not have been the subject of any negative PR or media activity
Further information about the scheme can be found here.
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