Allow employees time off to volunteer, says business group

Employers should be encouraged to allow workers time off work to take part in volunteer schemes.

The call has come from the Institute of Directors (IoD).

According to the employers' group, some two-thirds of UK firms have no policy on enabling staff to play a role in community volunteer programmes.

This despite the fact that over a half of employees would like to volunteer in some capacity.

The findings were produced in a survey conducted by v, a volunteering charity.

The majority of managers polled said that the time and money involved in allowing staff to participate as volunteers was the main reason for not encouraging workers to leave work in order to devote some of their energies to local community schemes.

Miles Templeman, the IoD's director general, commented: "It's clear in the current climate that many businesses simply can't afford large-scale financial investment programmes to help communities, so allowing staff time off from work to do good is the ideal solution.

"Employee volunteering is now a major part of the corporate responsibility mix, enabling companies to leverage their most valuable assets - their staff ­- to address some of the most significant problems facing society."