Armed Forces Covenant - Employer Recognition Scheme

NELFT awarded the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award for supporting the Armed Forces Community

AFC gold award

The scheme recognises and rewards UK employers for their support to defence personnel. The government is committed to supporting the armed forces community by working with a range of partners who have signed the covenant. The covenant is a national responsibility involving government, businesses, local authorities, charities and the public.

The scheme has three levels – Bronze, Silver and Gold award. The Covenant serves as a promise to those who serve or have served and their families that they will be treated fairly and will be welcomed as employees of NELFT. We are committed to supporting the Armed Forces community and recognise the value serving personnel, reservists, veterans and military families can bring to our organisation. We believe their unique and valuable skills are transferable to healthcare and can contribute to NELFT’s success.

The most supportive organisations for Britain’s Armed Forces from both the private and public sectors were announced on 30 July 2020. We are delighted to be named as one of these organisations and have been awarded the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award.

To achieve the 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.

Professor Oliver Shanley, said: “I am so proud of our organisation for all we are doing to support reservists, veterans and those whose loved ones serve in the Armed Forces.

The Trust has worked hard to ensure we have supportive policies and procedures in place and, more importantly, a supportive culture. I would like to recognise the dedication of our colleagues in the HR department for their hard work in this area.”

2020 marks the seventh year of the awards scheme and this year 47% of winners are either Micro organisations or SMEs and 38% are public organisations. This demonstrates both the growth in numbers and the depth of supportive employers who cover a wide range of sectors and company size. This year’s 127 award winners join a group of 226 winners from previous years bringing the total to 353 organisations who can share their knowledge and experience on the benefits of employing those from the Armed Forces community.

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 adapted 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.”

For a full list of Employer Recognition Scheme Gold, Silver and Bronze award winners, visit

Covenant text Covenant text