The Magistrates Association presented its 2018 award for Employer of the Year to the Lloyds Banking Group at an event at the Old Bailey on 5 December. This major national award recognises their significant contribution to supporting the magistracy.
Magistrates perform an invaluable public service by volunteering as representatives of the community in the justice system. But many rely on the support of their employer to enable them to attend court during working hours and the Magistrates Association has created an Employer of the Year award to recognise those organisations that are leading the way in supporting their employees to sit as magistrates.
The 2018 winner, Lloyds Banking Group, were nominated for this award by Christine Wong, a project manager at the organisation and a magistrate in East London. She highlighted their provision of paid leave for public duties, their adoption of flexible ways of working, and their creation of a culture that encourages and values volunteering. This enables Christine and more than 30 of her colleagues to sit as magistrates, making an important contribution to the justice system.
At the reception – held in the Judges' Dining Room at the Old Bailey and attended by the Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot, the Deputy Chief Executive of HM Courts and Tribunals Service Kevin Sadler and the National Leadership Magistrate Duncan Webster – Lloyds Banking Group were presented with this award by Jon Collins, the Chief Executive of the Magistrates Association. Commenting on the award, he said:
'We are delighted to be giving this award to Lloyds Banking Group, recognising their support for staff who sit as magistrates. We need to see more employers enabling their staff to be magistrates and Lloyds Banking Group is a great example of an organisation that sees the value of its employees making a contribution to the community and actively supports them in doing so.'
Christine Wong said:
'Juggling full-time employment and my commitments as a magistrate can be challenging, but I have been able to do this successfully thanks to the support and flexibility of my employer. I am immensely grateful to Lloyds Banking Group for supporting me and my magistrate colleagues and am delighted that they are being publicly acknowledged for their vital contribution to the magistracy.'
Lucy Frazer QC MP, the Ministry of Justice minister responsible for the courts, said:
'The magistracy plays a vital role in our criminal justice system thanks to the volunteers who generously devote their time, and the employers who encourage their staff by providing the flexibility they need to perform this crucial public service. I congratulate Lloyds Banking Group on being named Employer of the Year and would like to personally thank them for the invaluable support they give to all their magistrates.'
With the growing awareness of Corporate Social Responsibility, many companies are seeking to give back to their communities and support the development of their staff in innovative ways. The magistracy offers a fantastic opportunity to do that. The MA wants to work with companies to promote routes into the magistracy and the ways in which we support our members.
If your employer might be interested, please get in touch with the membership team.
See also: Members spotlight: MA Employer Award 2018 from the December 2018-January 2019 issue of MAGISTRATE.