Tom responds to David Cameron’s campaign announcement that every (non-SME) employer should give each employee 3 days volunteering leave per year (10 April 2015), on the Guardian’s Voluntary Sector Network web site:
It’s not an oxymoron: ‘paid volunteering’ is about the COMPANY volunteering its time and that’s good. It’s possible to do this now, of course! But is it a right to ASK or a right to HAVE? Who decides WHEN it is taken and WHAT constitutes ‘volunteering’? It will not create a torrent of volunteers looking for work (places with a 3-day policy now, like some govt departments, certainly don’t get anything like 3 days per employee taken up). But once again, Cameron fails to tell business WHY it’s a good idea in terms of social value, positive image and employee engagement through added fulfilment and purpose associated with being an employee. In short: where is the STRATEGY?
And here is the original story as broken by Third Sector magazine (and ineptly declared by Eric Pickles on BBC R4 Today, the same day).