The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has called on the next government to swiftly resolve the status of people from elsewhere in Europe as part of negotiations about Britain’s exit from the European Union.
In its general election manifesto, published today, the umbrella body calls for everybody to be given a stake in post-Brexit Britain as one of five main areas it highlights.
The other four areas are: making it easier and more rewarding for people to volunteer; supporting local communities for a generation to come; making it easier for charities and volunteers to support our public services; and making it easier for people to build their skills and get good jobs.
On the Brexit issue, the NCVO says people from the EU have enriched our culture, society and economy. "Along with their families, they work and volunteer in our public services, including for charities," it says.
"We think it right that they should continue to have a stake in the future of the country. We ask that, as part of the negotiations to leave the EU, the right to stay of people from elsewhere in Europe is resolved without delay."
It says that simple and effective visa requirements or a waiver programme should be put in place to enable people from overseas to remain an important resource for communities and public services in the UK.
The manifesto also calls for employers to be encouraged to allow staff time off work for volunteering, including as charity trustees, a support fund to address barriers to volunteering for people with disabilities and work to strengthen volunteer development and management.
It says public services are better when charities and volunteers are involved and calls for services such as the NHS to set targets for the management and development of volunteering, with aims including an increase in volunteer numbers.