The Employee Volunteering policy will assist employees who are looking to volunteer in the Falkirk Council community.

Purpose

Volunteering is about giving your time and skills, for the benefit of others, the local community and very importantly yourself.

The purpose of employee volunteering is for the Council to increase resilience, add value and build relationships within the local community. By giving your time you're helping your chosen charity or organisation and in turn helping the people and communities of Falkirk become more self reliant.


Benefits

Volunteering has huge benefits both for you and for the community. Volunteering can:

  • Help you be part of the community
  • Help you learn new skills and experience
  • Help you gain confidence and provides an opportunity to try something new
  • Have a real and valuable impact on people, communities and society in general
  • Help you meet different types of people
  • Improve your morale, physical health and work-life balance
  • Be fun!

Who can get involved

Employees who have a permanent or temporary post can apply for 1 day per calendar year to volunteer. Managers can look at sickness absence in the previous year – 96% attendance is normally required before your volunteering time off will be agreed. Managers can also consider contract duration for temporary contracts – usually 12 months or longer would be required to obtain the full day, although managers can be flexible depending on the circumstances.


What projects can I support

You can support any charity or Falkirk Council service that operates within the Falkirk Council area. For example, care homes, day centres, Samaritans of Falkirk and Central Scotland or any other locally focussed activity. CVS may assist you in identifying volunteering opportunities: www.cvsfalkirk.org.uk/volunteering

Any activities which cannot be shown to be of benefit to the local community, such as organisations who look to make profit, volunteering to support a friend or family member, will not qualify under this scheme.

You should not participate in any activities that could be in conflict to your Falkirk Council role or one which may impact on your health and wellbeing.


Expenses/Equipment

We will not pay any expenses you may have through the volunteering activity. We will not provide or pay for any equipment required for your chosen volunteering role. You should discuss this with the organisation that you are volunteering with as they may offer to pay reasonable expenses.


Health & Safety

It is your responsibility to ensure you are meeting all health and safety standards, no matter the type of volunteering arrangement you choose to do. You should ensure that the organisation that you are volunteering with has sufficient insurance cover for the role that you undertake.


Time off

Employees will be granted paid time off to attend all types of volunteering events up to a maximum of 1 day (pro-rata for part time staff) per calendar year i.e. January to December.


Employee requests to undertake volunteering

If you wish to take part in the volunteering, you should speak to your line manager about your request and then request the leave on myview. This can be found under "Request New Paid Special Leave" and selecting “FC Community Volunteering” from the drop down list of reasons. It is also essential that you complete the comments box with the name of the charity/organisation where you will volunteer. Your manager will not approve the leave unless the comments box is completed.

If you do not have access to myview you will need to complete the Application for Employee Volunteering Form and discuss it with your line manager.

Employee Volunteering application form

Approval of time off will be subject to the needs of the Service. Falkirk Council will support as many requests as possible however there may be times that this cannot be accommodated for the following reasons:

  • Has a negative impact on the business and service needs
  • Work within the service cannot be re-arranged to accommodate the employees varied hours
  • The cost of cover would be too great

Only 2 applications per year should be submitted for up to the maximum of 1 day per year for a full time employee (pro-rata for part time).

Approved volunteering

The decision of your application will be confirmed via myview.

If you submitted an application form, your manager will advise you of their decision. Line Managers – please note it is your responsibility to submit the request on myview on behalf of the employee and then scan the completed application form to:

Refused volunteering

Where a request is declined, your manager will provide some justification for the refusal.

Receiving a refusal does not prevent you from requesting time off to volunteer in the future.


Review and raising awareness

In advance of and after any volunteering work, employees should raise awareness using yammer. Where possible, photos of volunteering activities should be shared on yammer. Employees should also share information about their volunteering experience at their team meeting.


If you need information about this or any other policy, please contact the HR Helpdesk.