The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) encourages employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same. The scheme encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant, which is a promise to treat those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve.

The main criteria required for the Gold Award are:

  • Organisations 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 their forces-friendly credentials 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.
  • 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, at no financial disadvantage to the Reservist employee.

 “We are delighted to have secured the Gold Award that highlights the outstanding work we do to support the Armed Forces and those who serve and have served within them. We recognise the role that employers like us play in providing opportunities for those who have protected our nation and it is fantastic to gain recognition for the work that our staff have contributed. A key element of this support is the valuable contribution that service families and charities deliver on a daily basis and it has been a real honour for many of our staff to contribute to this effort.”

“MBDA and its predecessors have a long history of supporting the Armed Forces and of employing ex-service personnel. We gain hugely from their direct experience of the operational environment, and their personal appreciation of customer needs and aspirations. We are extremely proud to gain this recognition and will continue our support of the Armed Forces and those who protect our country for many years to come.” - Chris Allam, Managing Director UK at MBDA