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Lothian awarded highest accolade from Ministry of Defence

Posted: 17th July 2023

Lothian buses has today announced that it has been awarded the prestigious Gold Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Award from the Ministry of Defence for its support of the Armed Forces community in Scotland.

The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme encourages employers to support defence and inspires others to do the same. The Gold Award recognises organisations who have signed the Armed Forces Covenant and actively encourage a positive cultural environment with the demonstration of forces-friendly credentials.

Lothian employ many individuals who serve in the Reserves or are ex-Armed Forces personnel with established policies and procedures which offer support to these employees, including its Reservist Policy developed in partnership with the Lowland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets Association (Lowland RFCA).


Previously awarded the Silver award in 2018, the bus operator was named Employer of the Year at the 2021 Scottish Veteran Awards.

Sarah Boyd, Managing Director for Lothian said: “I’m thrilled that Lothian have received the Gold Award from the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, the highest badge of honour available. We are very proud that a number of our people from across the Lothian business have either served in the Armed Forces or currently serve as Reservists.  As a business we continue to take steps to improve our offering of support to these employees. We look forward to further developing our partnership with the Armed Forces Covenant and continuing to strengthen our commitment to the wider armed forces community.”

Minister for Defence People, Veterans and Service Families, Dr Andrew Murrison said:
I would like to thank all the organisations that have been recognised in this year’s awards. I’m delighted that we have seen so many organisations recognised with a gold award. Their continued support demonstrates the unique benefits and strengths that our Armed Forces community can bring to the workplace.”


Kate Johnston, Head of Communications, Lowland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association said: “Lothian Buses has shown itself to be an employer who doesn’t just talk the talk, but walks the walk. As well as implementing generous HR policies that reflect a commitment to Defence people, Lothian Buses has creatively partnered with the Royal Marines Reserve to assist them with their recruitment. Working with the RMR, Lothian Buses created a bus advert that has been designed to catch the attention of Edinburgh locals and to champion the Armed Forces. This is an ideal partnership given both organisations’ commitment to prospering and growing excellent people within their ranks. Lothian Buses has truly exemplified what it means to be a supportive Defence employer and thoroughly deserves this Gold ERS Award.”

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