Solidarity with our Armed Forces

Serving troops and veterans deserve support and recognition in civilian workplaces, the council says, as it celebrates receiving a silver award from the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.

Published: Monday, 17th August 2020

Cherwell District Council signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant in 2019, committing it to work with the military to offer support to service personnel and their families, as well as reservists and veterans.

Cherwell is one of 28 South East region employers to have been recognised in the 2020 Silver Employer Recognition Scheme Awards. This reflects the fact the council is a forces-friendly employer, open to recruiting reservists, military partners, and veterans - including those with injuries or living with long-term conditions.

Cllr Andrew McHugh, Cherwell’s military champion, said: “The Royal Navy, the British Army and the Royal Airforce fulfil a wide range of duties all over the world. We are keen to stand in solidarity with these brave men and women and make sure we support them in civilian life.

“But this is not only about recognising the value of their service. The armed forces give those who serve a superb set of skills which are immensely valuable to employers.”

Michal Gogut is a reserve with the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars who also works as a land charges assistant at Cherwell. Michal said: “The council has made a great effort to develop policies to support the military community. I have seen a real commitment from the management and councillors to recognise the veterans, armed forces personnel and their families.

“There is also a change in internal policies and the council formally approved 10 days military leave. For me as a reservist it makes a huge difference as I don’t have to make a difficult choice between military training or family time.

“I am confident that despite so many achievements this is only the beginning of the journey for Cherwell District Council and that the council will continue making positive changes.”

The council recently updated the reservist policy in order to fully support any current or potential employees in serving as a reservist. The new policy allows for employees to take additional leave to attend training and it sets out guidance for staff who are mobilised.

Cherwell guarantees job interviews to suitably qualified veterans who have recently left the armed forces and who want to work for the council. The aim is to make it easier for them to transition into civilian life.