Armistice Day is commemorated every year on the 11th of November and marks the agreement that was signed on the 11th of November at 11 am in 1918 to end the fighting of the First World War.
In addition to Armistice Day, the nearest Sunday to 11th November holds the Remembrance Sunday ceremony in which a two-minute silence is observed at 11 am.
Armistice Day is used to remember all the people who have died in wars – not just World War One, this includes World War Two, the Falklands War, the Gulf War, and conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Employers can do many things to support their colleagues who may (or may not) wish to participate in Armistice Day.
- Internal Comms – Although Armistice Day/Remembrance Sunday is a huge part of British Culture, it should never be assumed that everyone is aware of these days.
- Respecting individual beliefs – War is a sensitive topic and opinions vary on this, employees should not feel pressured into doing things they do not agree with ( e.g wearing a Poppy should not be enforced) and any conversations around this should be kept respectful of each other.
- Volunteering – Employees within the business may be part of a military organisation and, if business needs allow, allowing them to volunteer their time in November to sell poppies/attend parades/ assist with ceremonies is a great way to show support to your team(s)
- Organise a commemorative silence – If business opening hours fall on the 11th of November you can organise a commemorative silence for those who wish to participate without disturbing those who may wish not to.
- Charity Fundraising – Any money raisedcan then be donated to the British Legion or another organisation that directly supports veterans
- Safe space for employees to pay their respects – Employees may want to share stories or commemorate relatives and the office should be a safe environment for this. Employers should be aware that Armistice Day can be a difficult day for some people and well-being/emotional support should be in place for those affected.