Warwickshire County Council has been named alongside organisations –both Public and Private Sector – as one of this years’ winners of the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Awards for demonstra...
Warwickshire County Council has been named alongside organisations –both Public and Private Sector – as one of this years’ winners of the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Awards for demonstrating outstanding support for Britain’s Armed Forces.
The Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Awards continues to grow in strength year on year. To win an award, organisations must demonstrate that they provide ten extra paid days leave for Reservists and have supportive HR policies in place for Veterans, Reserves, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers and 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.
During the recent Armed Forces Week, Warwickshire County Council was pleased to announce that it is improving the support available to members of the Armed Forces community who are current or potential future employees of the council.
The county council wants to be a great place to work for all employees, including members of the Armed Forces community working within the Council or seeking employment.
Warwickshire announced that the following changes came into effect:
- Up to ten days’ paid leave per year for the annual camp or other training specific to their Reserve or Adult Cadet Instructor role; and
- Up to ten days’ unpaid leave in total within a three year period, and each successive three year period thereafter, for additional specialist training to enhance their role or for progression within the Reserve or Cadet Forces.
- The Council will give an interview under its Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS) where the essential criteria for a post are met by external candidates who are: Serving Armed Forces personnel during the 12 weeks prior to their discharge date from the Armed Forces; ex-Armed Forces personnel within three years of their discharge date; or where the Armed Forces were their last long-term employer.
- The Council will offer two-four weeks’ unpaid work experience placements for those who are leaving the Armed Forces, and welcome interest from those who are Wounded, Injured, or Sick (WIS).
This increased support came after it was estimated that 7,000 veterans in Warwickshire, who are of working age, are twice as likely to be unemployed compared to their civilian contemporaries (The Royal British Legion, A UK Household Survey of the ex-Service community, (2014), p.64).
The Legion’s Household Survey has also reported that veterans who have served for fewer than three years are less likely to be in full time work compared to the average for all veterans. Female veterans are also significantly less likely to be in employment and there is a higher chance that they will be economically inactive in comparison to the statistics for the female population in general (Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2012 Skills and Employment Survey).
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: We are very proud to be awarded the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award this year in recognition of our support for our serving men and women, past and present.
“We are honoured to be leading the way in the public sector in Warwickshire by being an Armed Forces-friendly employer. We want members of our Armed Forces to be a part of the team at the council as we recognise the huge breadth of transferable skills they acquire through their role in the Regulars or Reserves.
“We hope that through the recent changes and support available, members of the Armed Forces can have the opportunity to make a real impact both working at the Council and supported fully within our communities”
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.”
Warwickshire County Council has also played a key role in establishing and maintaining an Armed Forces Covenant for Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire. The Covenant is a pledge, taken by public and private sector organisations, that together they acknowledge and understand that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society that they serve with their lives.
More information about the armed forces covenant can be found here: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/support-armed-forces/covenant?documentId=209&categoryId=20093
For more information about the support that Warwickshire County Council provide to the armed forces, please visit: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/armedforces