Assistant Minister for Defence - Leading employers of Reservists recognised at National Awards

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The Hon Stuart Robert MP

Assistant Minister for Defence

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28 May 2014

Four exceptional employers have been recognised for their support of Australian Defence Force Reservists at the National Employer Support Awards in Canberra overnight.

Presenting the awards on behalf of the Government was the Assistant Minister for Defence, Stuart Robert.

“On behalf of a grateful Government I would like to say thank you to all of the winners for the outstanding support you have provided to employees who choose to serve in the Reserves,” Mr Robert said.

“Your contribution to national security and the national interest is greatly appreciated.”

The 2014 National Employer Support Award winners are:

· Small Business – Woody Point Pharmacy – Queensland

· Medium Business – Motherwell Automation – Western Australia

· Large Business – ABB Australia – Victoria

· Public Sector category – Corrective Services NSW – Extreme High Security Escort Unit - New South Wales

Winner of the Medium Business Award, Operations Manager of Motherwell Automation Eddie Terrell, said the skills his Reservist employee brought to work not only benefited the Reservist but the whole workplace, especially graduate employees.

“We hire a lot of graduate engineers and I find that being around a Reservist gets them off on the right foot from the start. They follow by example and develop a strong work ethic very early on,” Mr Terrell said.

Mr Robert also presented Employer Support Awards to several Australian Capital Territory and South Eastern New South Wales businesses. This year, 31 businesses were nominated for recognition as supportive employers.

As well as announcing the award winners, Mr Robert also announced the Government’s decision to repeal the sunset clause that ceased payments to employers under the Employer Support Payment Scheme from 30 June 2014.

The Employer Support Payment Scheme (ESPS) helps employers of Reserve personnel alleviate the cost to business associated with employees being absent on Reserve service.

In the last two years, approximately half of all employer support payments have related to service by Reservists on operations, including Afghanistan, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and Australia’s border protection efforts.

“Employers of Reserve men and women contribute to the capability of the Australian Defence Force; this generosity should not mean that businesses suffer financially,” Mr Robert said.

Media contacts:

Richard Briedis (Minister Robert’s Office) 0477 391 174

Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999

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