As long-term supporters of the Armed Forces Covenant, RIFT is committed to safeguarding the fair treatment of Service members, Veterans and their families. That’s why it’s such an incredible honour to receive the Gold award in the Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS), ranking us among the most supportive organisations for Britain’s Armed Forces community. With so many of our staff and customers coming from Ministry of Defence backgrounds and families, this award is a reflection of our core values and commitments.

What is the ERS Gold Award?

Launched in July 2014 by Prime Minister David Cameron, the ERS was created to recognise the degree of support demonstrated by employers for the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant, to the benefit of Reservists, Service Leavers, Wounded Injured and Sick, Cadets and spouses. 

The Scheme consists of three tiers, reflecting the level of support and commitment shown by an employer. The self-nominated Bronze Award is for employers who decide to declare their intention to support the military community. The Silver Award recognises those who go a step further, actively supporting the community in practical ways. Examples include ensuring that current or retired Service personnel are never unfairly disadvantaged in recruitment. Furthermore, they must employ at least one member of the Armed Forces community. The Gold Award goes further still, recognising exemplary organisations that advocate support for the military community to their partner organisations, suppliers and customers - with tangible, positive results.

How has RIFT achieved Gold?

RIFT has always fought to ensure that current and potential future employees are fully aware of its commitment and support for the UK’s Armed Forces. Additional support measures incorporated within our HR policy are briefed in induction and annual training, to encourage employees to consider becoming Reservists or Adult Cadet Volunteers. We proactively create roles suited to military Veterans, and advertise them with Career Transition Partnerships and Forces Family Jobs.

RIFT has been a corporate sponsor of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity since 2014, donating over £255,000 and proactively using its marketing channels to promote awareness and support for the community.

RIFT hosts regular events to bring together local businesses and military units and encourage wider participation and support. RIFT shares examples of its own activities with other businesses to demonstrate engagement with the military, utilising its various marketing channels to highlight the benefits of building these relationships. Members of the RIFT Veterans team meet with local businesses to explore ways in which they might support the military, leading to a number of Kent-based businesses making their own commitments to the Armed Forces Covenant, and becoming active supporters.

What does the Gold award mean to RIFT?

RIFT founder and Chairman Jan Post describes receiving the award as follows:

“I’m delighted to announce that RIFT has received notification today from Johnny Mercer, Minister for Defence People and Veterans, that we have been awarded the Armed Forces Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award. RIFT is honoured to be acknowledged in this way, and I am proud to lead a team of such dedicated people, committed to supporting the military community.

“RIFT’s relationship with and commitment to the Armed Forces community is long-standing and wide-ranging, including support for thousands of serving personnel each year with tax refunds, helping Service leavers set up businesses, advocating Veteran employment and corporate sponsorship of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, to which we have donated over £250,00 to date.” 

What comes next?

Shaun Micallef-Green, RIFT’s Head of Armed Forces Liaison, says:

“The Gold Award is a fantastic achievement for RIFT, of which we are very proud. Whilst it represents an excellent milestone and confirmation that our efforts to encourage wider support are appreciated, this is far from being an end result. RIFT is a hugely supportive employer, committed to the military community, and as an ex-Army Officer I am proud to be a part of the company. The events we have hosted have always been very well received by other employers, who have been keen to find out more about the wider skills and experience that employees can develop as Reservists, along with the benefits Veterans might bring to roles in their businesses. We are keen to continue these efforts, and will look for new ways to engage with both the military and other businesses moving forward.”

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