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Simpkins Edwards marches to gold in MOD Defence Employer Recognition Scheme
Posted on: August 20th 2020
Section: Member news


Simpkins Edwards, the Devon-based accountancy firm, is saluting its staff, Veteran and Reservist clients, having received the highest accolade that the Ministry of Defence can bestow on a business.  This is in recognition of the firm’s support for Armed Forces personnel and their families, their recruitment and development.  

One of just 127 businesses across the UK – and the only business in Devon – to have achieved a Gold Award as part of the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) in 2020, Simpkins Edwards joins a very select group of just 353 businesses to have received the award since the scheme was launched by the then Prime Minister David Cameron in July 2014. 

Johnny Mercer, Minister of Defence People and Veterans commented: “The breadth and diversity of the winners this year shows how business support for the Armed Forces continues to grow no matter the sector, company size or location. I am grateful for the positive attitude and flexible policies these organisations have adopted towards the defence community, which is testament to the fantastic contribution our serving personnel, veterans and their families can make to any organisation.” 

“I am delighted that so many companies are supporting our people and that, through this scheme, we can give them the public recognition they deserve.” 

Simpkins Edwards strives to ensure military personnel and their families have equal rights in the recruitment process. To aid this, the firm actively publishes available jobs on Forces Families Jobs and CTP Right Job. 

Earlier this year, Jean-Paul Quertier, Tax Partner at Simpkins Edwards and Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves, took command of the Army Training Unit (West) reducing his working days at Simpkins Edwards from five days down to four to fulfil this role.  

Lt Col Quertier oversees the Unit responsible for providing Basic Training to over 500 Army Reserve recruits passing through both Wyvern Barracks in Exeter, and Maindy Barracks in Cardiff.   The training is provided through modular, residential and specialist courses.  This is the latest posting supported by Simpkins Edwards and runs until June 2022. 

Within Simpkins Edwards, Jean-Paul leads the corporate tax team. He mentors Service leavers and Army Reservist clients in setting up businesses, successfully helping many of these start-up businesses to thrive. The firm’s tax team is well-versed in military terminology and provides specialist tax advice for serving soldiers, making Simpkins Edwards one of only a few accountancy firms in the UK to offer this specialism. 

Mary Jane Campbell, Managing Partner at Simpkins Edwards, commented: “The firm is honoured to be presented with the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award in acknowledgement of our ongoing support to the Armed Forces community. As a business, we are committed to supporting all Reservists and Cadet Force adult volunteer staff that commit their time and holidays to the Armed Forces, and we are proud of our record of working with Veterans, their spouses and partners to help establish and build successful businesses for their futures”. 

“Supporting the Armed Forces community is incredibly rewarding and we actively encourage like-minded businesses to pledge their support by signing the Armed Forces Covenant.” 

To receive the ERS Gold Award, businesses need to fulfil the following: 

  • Must have signed the Armed Forces Covenant 
  • Have an existing relationship with their defence representative 
  • Received ERS Silver Award 
  • Demonstrate forces-friendly credentials as part of their recruiting and selection processes 
  • Employ at least one individual from the Armed Forces community  
  • Ensure that their workforce is aware of their positive policies towards defence people issues 
  • Be an exemplar within their market sector, advocating support to defence people issues to partner organisations, supplier and customers with tangible positive results 
  • Must provide at least 10 days’ addition leave for training, fully paid, to Reservist employees 

To find out more about how your organisation could benefit from pledging their support to the Armed Forces community, please contact the Regional Employer Engagement Director, Jon Beake on 01823 250110 or wx-reed@rfca.mod.uk

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