Hywel Dda University Health Board was awarded the Gold Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Award 2021, in a special regional ceremony in Cardiff.
Representing the highest badge of honour, the ERS Gold Awards are awarded to organisations that employ and support those who serve in the armed forces, veterans and their families.
Hywel Dda UHB received the award after successfully demonstrating supportive HR policies for veterans, reserves, and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers. This included demonstrating support for spouses and partners of those serving in the Armed Forces.
The health board also had to show that it provides 10 extra paid days leave for reservists.
Furthermore, to advocate the benefits in supporting armed forces community members by encouraging others to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and engage in the ERS.
Chief Executive of Hywel Dda University Health Board Steve Moore said: “I am extremely proud that the hard work of many people within our organisation to support
the Defence community and workforce has been recognised with an Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award.
“Our focus since signing the Armed Forces Covenant in 2016, has been to continually improve our workforce policies to attract and support the recruitment and retention of workforce from the Armed Forces community.
“We recognise the knowledge, transferable skills and the constructive and positive approach Veterans and Reservists bring to our health service, which further expands on the truly significant contributions they make to wider society.”
The health board is one of only 10 organisations in Wales to have won the gold award.
The ceremony was held at HMS Cambria in Cardiff on 17 November and was presented jointly by Rear Admiral Keith Beckett CBE and Air Officer Wales, Air Commodore Adrian Williams OBE.
Accepting the award on behalf of the health board were Helen Sullivan, Head of Partnerships, Diversity and Inclusion, Anna Bird, Assistant Director for Strategic Partnerships, Diversity and Inclusion and Alan Winter, Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer who is also a veteran with 25 years’ service.
Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Leo Docherty said: “I would like to thank all the organisations who have proven their support for the Defence community during such unprecedented and challenging times.
“The vast range of those recognised this year demonstrates how employing the Armed Forces community makes a truly positive and beneficial impact for all employers, regardless of size, sector or location.”