The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) 2024 Gold Award Expression of Interest (EoI) window opens on 1 December 2023 and closes on 13 February 2024.
EoI will be validated to determine the level of defence personnel employment within the organisation and to check that the organisation has signed the Armed Forces Covenant.
Once the EoI has been validated, the organisation will be encouraged to begin the application process. The application will then be considered by a selection board at national level for Gold awards. The selection boards will be a panel chaired by a senior military officer and they will consider each organisation against the award criteria. Organisations selected for Gold awards will be formally notified in writing and invited to the respective award event.
Gold award holders:
- must have signed the Armed Forces Covenant
- employers must have an existing relationship with their National Account Manager/Regional Employer Engagement Director/appropriate defence representative
- the employer must already be accredited as a holder of ERS Silver Award and held it with sufficient time to develop suitable plans and policies and evidence to support the ERS Gold application
- the employer must proactively demonstrate their forces-friendly credentials as part of their recruiting and selection processes. Where possible, they should be engaged with Career Transition Partnership (CTP) in the recruitment of service leavers and have registered for the Forces Families Jobs (FFJ) portal
- 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
- the employer must be an exemplar within their market sector, advocating support to defence people issues to partner organisations, suppliers and customers with tangible positive results
- within the context of Reserves the employer must have demonstrated support to mobilisations or have a framework in place. They must provide at least 10 days’ additional leave for training, fully paid, to the Reservist employee
- the employer must actively encourage a positive environment for Reservists by ensuring that positive policies in support of Reservists within the workforce are communicated to line managers
- the employer must not have been the subject of any negative public relations or media activity
- the employer should be an exemplar in demonstrating support to the Cadet movement. This could, for example, be through mentoring cadets in key employment skills, by providing guaranteed interviews for cadets, by direct investment in equipment and infrastructure for a local cadet unit, or by funding and sponsoring competitions, events, and specific activities for cadets such as overseas expeditions.
- the employer promotes volunteering with the cadet forces from their workforce, by providing additional leave for employees who are Cadet Force Adult Volunteers (CFAVs)