Neuberger proposes charity volunteering scheme for all civil servants

HR and line managers are biggest barriers, says Government's former volunteering champion

All government departments should have an employer-supported volunteering scheme in place by 2011, according to a report by the Prime Minister’s former volunteering champion.

Baroness Neuberger’s report, Employer-supported Volunteering in the Civil Service, says all civil servants should be given up to five days off a year to volunteer and employer-supported volunteering should be available in all government agencies by 2012.

But the report, which was published yesterday, adds that a shortage of resources and a lack of endorsement for volunteering from human resources departments and line managers are fundamental barriers to expanding employer-supported volunteering.

It suggests an internal promotion campaign should be implemented throughout government to demonstrate the benefits of volunteering.

"I believe passionately in the power of volunteering", says Neuberger in the report. "I would like to see all civil servants taking part in volunteering activities, so they understand it and lead by example."

Tessa Jowell, minister for the Cabinet Office, said she would review all of the report’s recommendations.

It is Neuberger’s last report in her role as the Government’s champion for volunteering, which officially ended last month.

The Liberal Democrat peer, who chaired the Commission on the Future of Volunteering, announced in May that she would step down from the post.

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