Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) has been awarded the Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Silver award.
This comes as a result of RBFRS’ support to those that are part of the Armed Forces community, after signing the Armed Forces Covenant and achieving the Bronze Award in February this year.
The Covenant pledges to support the Armed Forces by promoting the fact that we are an Armed Forces friendly organisation, as well as working with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) to establish an employment pathway for people leaving the Forces.
The award contains a number of commitments, which include:
- Employing at least one individual from the Armed Forces community;
- Ensuring the workforce is aware of positive policies towards defence people issues;
- Providing a minimum of five days’ additional unpaid or paid leave for Reservists; and
- Giving greater flexibility with leave for staff and their partners before, during, and after deployment.
This year, RBFRS has shown support for the forces by taking part in Armed Forces Day on 30 June, putting up flags in stations and taking part in events in Reading and Slough to show gratitude for all the hard work that the members of the Armed Forces do. In addition, we supported the Reserves’ Day, which was held on 27 June, during this we invited all serving and ex-Armed Forces members of staff to wear their uniform to work. RBFRS also continues to work closely with the CTP, so that all available jobs are advertised through their website, in order to encourage more ex-Armed Forces members to join the Service.
Fire Authority Chairman, Colin Dudley, said: “It is a great honour for the Service to receive the Silver award, showing just how much we value those in the Armed Forces, and what their skills bring to the Service. We look forward to working towards our Gold award and strengthening our ties with the forces even more.”
Director of Support Services, Nikki Richards, said: “We are delighted to have received this award. We have over 20 members of staff who have come to the Service from the Armed Forces, with some still serving as Reserves and this award confirms our commitment to existing and potential members of staff. The award formally recognises the Service’s commitment to ensure the fair treatment of all staff who have served, or will serve in the Armed Forces, and their families and we will continue this work with the hope of achieving the Gold award soon.”
Commenting on the announcement of the 2018 Employer Recognition Scheme Silver awards, Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans, the Rt Hon Tobias Ellwood MP, said: “I am delighted to congratulate the recipients of this year’s Employer Recognition Scheme Silver awards. A Silver award recognises the fantastic efforts of employers throughout the UK who have both elevated their commitments under the Armed Forces Covenant and provided actual benefit to the Armed Forces Community. The winners should all be proud of the life-changing impact and fresh opportunities they are providing to our Reservists, veterans, wounded injured and sick and their families. We’ve seen a record number of winners this year, which shows that the Armed Forces family talent pool is also providing tangible business benefit.”
The Awards Ceremony will take place on Wednesday, 5 September on board HMS Victory, and members of the Service will be going to collect the Silver award.
RBFRS will now be working towards the Gold award. This involves showing even more support for the forces by advocating support to partner organisations, suppliers and customers with tangible positive results, and providing at least 10 days’ extra leave for Reservists.