Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Manchester City Council and Salford City Council have all received a gold award recognising the outstanding support for the Armed Forces community in the city-region.

The national Employer Recognition Scheme award winners have been announced today (Friday 16 July) by Defence Minister Leo Docherty. A total of 18 employers received the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award in the North West.

To win an award, organisations must provide 10 extra paid days leave for Reservists and have supportive HR policies in place for veterans, Reserves, and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, as well as spouses and partners of those serving in the Armed Forces.  

Organisations must also advocate the benefits of supporting those within the Armed Forces community by encouraging others to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and engage in the Employer Recognition Scheme. 

GMCA’s Gold Award recognises its key role in facilitating the delivery of the Armed Forces Covenant across public, third and private sectors in Greater Manchester, as well as work in creating a partnership focussed, mutually supportive network of organisations that are determined to do more for the Armed Forces Community in our city-region.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “Greater Manchester Combined Authority was the first combined authority to sign the Armed Forces Covenant in 2014. We continue to ensure our serving and ex-serving members of the Armed Forces, as well as their families, have proper support.

“This award recognises the work undertaken to transform our offer to the armed forces community and I believe we have now set a new standard for other employers to follow. We will always do right by those who serve and have served in our armed forces and continue to support the partnership outreach activity taking place across the city-region.”

Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Last month the Council re-signed the Armed Forces Community Covenant as a marker of the city’s commitment to supporting veterans and active members of the Armed Forces. This award is another example of this commitment in action. We feel keenly that we have a responsibility to those who have given so much for this country have the support networks available to them, both in society and in the workplace – in particular considering the challenges faced over the last year.” 

The achievement highlights the work that has been ongoing to develop Salford City Council as a forces friendly employer and work to support our armed forces community across the city has seen a full time supported tenancy officer working directly with veterans, ex-armed forces personnel, separated spouses, and widows or widowers who are struggling with their tenancies, homeless or threatened with homelessness.

Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “I am delighted that we have been recognised for the work we have developed which recognises the commitment of our employees who are part of the Reserves and the support to our armed forces community across our city.  Supporting our veterans and armed forces communities across the city has been a priority since I was elected as City Mayor back in May 2016 and it is great to see this work going from strength to strength and for the City Council to be recognised in this way by the Ministry of Defence. 

“It is also fantastic that the Greater Manchester Combined Authority has been awarded gold which demonstrates how committed we are in Greater Manchester to our armed forces.  We will continue to make progress against the Armed Forces Covenant and will encourage other organisations in the city to look at how they can make a difference to our armed forces community”.

Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Leo Docherty said: “I would like to thank all the organisations who have proven their support for the Defence community during such unprecedented and challenging times. 

“The vast range of those recognised this year demonstrates how employing the Armed Forces community makes a truly positive and beneficial impact for all employers, regardless of size, sector or location.” 

Jan Cox, Regional Employer Engagement Director at the North West of England and the Isle of Man Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (NW RFCA), said: “On behalf of the Ministry of Defence we are delighted to be able to recognise the support and commitment given to the Armed Forces Covenant by employers in the region, through the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold awards. Each recipient has demonstrated the highest level of support to the Armed Forces community, and we thank them for their outstanding commitment and enthusiasm.” 


Article Published: 16/07/2021 15:04 PM