The Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) recent announcement of 50 businesses and organisations to be receive the prestigious Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award included a record four Welsh winners.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (UHB) was among the recipients for their ‘fantastic’ multi-channel support and salutes to past and present Service personnel, which has acted as a model example to other large employers.
“Their commitment to their reservist staff goes above and beyond the minimum standards that one might expect of an armed forces friendly employer,” said Tony Fish, Regional Employer Engagement Director for the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA) for Wales.
“Betsi Cadwaladr UHB’s championing of its reservist staff and track record of supporting the armed forces community in North Wales has shown itself to be a fantastic ambassador and advocate for Defence.”
Their support has included:
Mobilisation – Reservist staff are offered up to 10 days of paid leave per year to allow for attendance at annual camps and the equivalent continuous training activities. In addition, reservists are entitled to carry over annual leave which they have not been able to take as a result of mobilisation.
Demobilisation – Recognising that the transition from deployment to demobilisation can be a difficult time for reservists, Betsi Cadwaladr UHB offer a full range of support options. It’s delivered by the Occupational Health department and Line Managers, who are made fully aware of the considerations to take to ensure reservists enjoy a smooth reintegration in to the workplace.
Awareness – All of Betsi Cadwaladr UHB’s 16,500 staff, from drivers to senior executives, are invited to attend Reserves Day celebrations at the three District General Hospitals. Reservists are welcomed to wear their uniform with pride to the workplace and released from work duties to attend events, which are a valuable opportunity for shared learning and signposting.
They are also creating a specialised webpage for reservist staff and the wider armed forces community to access essential information relating to mental and physical health and wellbeing. A dedicated social media group has also been established for the sharing of best practice across the whole of Betsi Cadwaladr UHB.
Advocacy – Betsi Cadwaladr UHB’s advocacy of Defence priorities has been a key element of their nomination and subsequent ERS Gold Award. The health board has gone above and beyond in their efforts to raise the public profile of the armed forces community.
This has included; an Armed Forces Day social media campaign that reached 30,000 people, PR campaigns that have earned local and national coverage of their Peer Mentor Scheme and using internal communications channels to keep their staff updated on activities.
Betsi Cadwaladr UHB also plays a lead role in the North Wales Armed Forces Forum, which provides support for veterans, Service leavers and the wounded, injured and sick. The forum ensures that support is joined up to meet specific needs.
Interested in signing the Armed Forces Covenant and following in Betsi Cadwaladr UHB’s footsteps?
Contact Tony Fish, Regional Employer Engagement Director at RFCA for Wales today:
Phone: 07508 193902
Email: [email protected]