Lancashire Times
A Voice of the North
10:26 AM 19th July 2021

Irwin Mitchell Secures Gold Award For Championing Reservists

Irwin Mitchell has become one of a select group, and one of only a handful of law firms to be granted a Gold Award in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS), a government initiative that recognises those employers who support Armed Forces reservists within their organisation.

This year’s news builds on the Silver Award the firm was granted in 2019. It reflects the work undertaken over the last two years in updating the reservist policy, and reaffirming Irwin Mitchell’s commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant. It also reinforces the firm’s commitment to existing reservist colleagues, military clients and the wider Armed Forces community.

An official ceremony to present employers with their ERS Gold Awards will take place at Leeds Royal Armouries Museum, on Thursday 25 November.

In addition to holding a valid Silver Award, those granted a Gold Award must employ individuals from the Armed Forces community and proactively demonstrate forces-friendly credentials as part of recruitment and selection.

The employer must be exemplary within their market sector while exhibiting workforce positive policies towards defence people issues. They must also advocate the Armed Forces Covenant across a number of sectors, including support to charities, and military clients.

Irwin Mitchell has long-recognised the value ex-forces colleagues and reservists bring to the firm, consistently updating polices to be the ‘employer of choice’ for veterans entering ‘civvy street’ in search of an employer who’ll value their experience and transferrable skills.

Group Chief Executive Andrew Tucker said: “After an extraordinary and challenging year, it’s a significant achievement to receive an ERS Gold Award on behalf of Irwin Mitchell.

“Our commitment to the forces community and the Armed Forces Covenant remains strong and we remain as active as ever in recruiting ex-servicemen and women and in acting for hundreds current and ex-Armed Forces personnel in military claims.

“We’re proud to recognise and support our military communities, and this Gold Award demonstrates that we’re among the best employers in Britain for veterans and reservists alike.”

Irwin Mitchell is proud to employ members of the 30,000 strong reservists, trained to support the regular British army. In addition to standard employee benefits, reservists enjoy ten days extra paid holiday to cover annual training commitments, as well as receiving material support on mobilisation, in recognition of the service they offer to the country.

Former army officer and Irwin Mitchell head of talent acquisition, Mark Gilbertson, said: “We have put a lot of hard work into improving our support for reservists and in appealing to ex-members of the Armed Forces to look at Irwin Mitchell when considering their next move. To be granted a Gold Award is fantastic news as we look to recruit former Forces personnel to our own ranks.

“The whole team is still on ‘cloud nine’ with the news, and I’d like to thank everyone who’s been involved in bringing us to this achievement, after what has been a challenging year for all.

“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve maintained the links we have with the communities in which we and live and work. In line with this, we’ve looked to be a part of the strong bond local communities have with our Armed Forces.

“Of course this isn’t just about recruitment – our Military team supports serving and ex-Armed Forces clients through a pivotal point in their lives, including injury, death in service, PTSD and discrimination.”

“This is a proud moment for everyone at the firm, and we’re looking forward to using this Award to spearhead further efforts to see more military men and women within our ranks in future, and to enhance our offering of legal support to the wider Armed Forces community.”

Amanda Marsh, head of the Military Injury team in Manchester, said: “I am absolutely delighted that our continuing support for and commitment to military personnel, serving, veteran and reservist, has been recognised. It now gives us even greater opportunity to advocate on behalf of the wounded injured and sick who we’re so proud to represent.”