Fear over staff leave for volunteering

Most employees reluctant to ask for time off, TimeBank survey finds

Two-thirds of workers are afraid to ask their bosses for paid time off to volunteer, according to a new survey by volunteering charity TimeBank.

The survey is based on the responses of 3,000 staff and jobseekers and 500 employers on the website www.reed.co.uk.

Eighty-three per cent of employers said they regarded voluntary work as valuable experience, but half said they thought their staff were afraid to ask for time off for it. Sixty-six per cent of staff admitted they were worried about asking for the time off.

Helen Walker, chief executive of TimeBank, said it was unsurprising that staff were concerned about asking for time off during a recession. But she said employee volunteering could raise staff morale, which would help businesses.

The survey was released to mark the charity's launch of an employee volunteering scheme for the Cabinet Office, in which staff will spend five days a year volunteering.

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