Three days paid volunteering leave for employees to go ahead, says minister for civil society

Three days paid volunteering leave for employees to go ahead, says minister for civil society

Three days paid volunteering leave for employees to go ahead, says minister for civil society1

Governance | Alice Sharman | 26 Jun 2015

The government will go ahead with proposals for employees to receive three days of volunteering leave, the minister for civil society said yesterday in his first keynote speech of the new Parliament.

Prime Minister David Cameron made a pledge in the last Parliament that a Conservative government would offer up to 15 million workers three days’ paid leave for volunteering.

He proposed that every public sector worker and anyone working in a company with at least 250 employees would be entitled to the volunteering leave.

But there had been some doubts as to whether it would go ahead after no measures to introduce it were included in the Queen's Speech.

Speaking yesterday, Wilson said: “We put at the heart of our manifesto a commitment to three days of paid volunteering leave for employees in large organisations. Many companies do this already but we’ll make this a reality for more people – a new entitlement for millions which will unleash a new wave of skills, capability and passion to help others.”

Wilson also spoke of the government’s further commitment to volunteering, with plans to “substantially grow” the National Citizen Service, and “intensify support” for Step Up To Serve’s #iwill campaign – which provides increased youth social action opportunities to “encourage a lift time habit of volunteering”.

Rob Wilson was speaking about the government’s vision for a “bigger and stronger society” yesterday in front of a number of charity sector professionals at the Coin Street Community Centre, London. He revealed the government’s four-point plan for the future of civil society.

He said: “First, we need a confident and capable voluntary sector, armed with the skills it needs to meet the challenges ahead.

“Second, we want to see more social action and volunteering, with community participation embedded in our lives from school days onwards.

“Third, increased levels of giving, and more social investment, helping people who want to use their money to transform lives to connect to organisations who can put those funds to work.

“And fourth, stronger, more resilient, more capable and more empowered communities.”

He said the government will make further investment in the Centre for Social Action, a government initiative to fund volunteering projects.

He said he has been working with “hospitals, the voluntary sector and communities around the country, backing programmes where volunteers support those in need and improve outcomes and help reduce pressures on hospitals”.

Wilson also said that the Charity Commission has, in the past, “been too lax in tackling serious abuses of charity, which risks undermining public trust”. But, he said, that is “changing: the Charity Commission is now taking a much more robust approach to tackling serious abuse, and the bill will give it the tools it needs to do its job effectively.”

Increasing the reach of social impact bonds

The minister also confirmed a commitment to rapidly extend the “scope and reach of social impact bonds in 4 priority areas: youth unemployment, mental health, homelessness and children in care”.

He said that the government will scale up the Centre for Social Impact Bonds in the Office for Civil Society, and continue investment in its Social Outcomes Fund.

Among other commitments, Wilson also confirmed that the much-delayed Local Sustainability Fund was now open, but with only £20m worth of funding – half the amount originally anticipated.

Following his speech, Wilson replied to a question on whether the future of the Office for Civil Society is under threat by saying that it still has a “huge amount to contribute not just to the sector but to wider government”, adding that he “thinks it will be continuing to do that for a long time”.

Melanie Ewer
Centre Director
Courtyard Arts & Community Centre
31 Jul 2015

I have read this article with interest, it would be a fantastic if this goes ahead. We are a self-funded charity run by a small admin/management team supported by over 40 volunteers, we would not be able to open our doors without them!


[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear


  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Report: UK banks are lending £3bn to social organisations

22 Jul 2016

A report commissioned by RBS has estimated that banks in the UK have over £3bn invested in outstanding...

Access Foundation makes first investment and calls for more proposals

21 Jul 2016

Access – the Foundation for Social Investment has made its first investment, into a fund providing loans...

Libor funds will go to charity supported by Jo Cox

14 Jul 2016

A charity supported by the murdered Labour MP Jo Cox, has been awarded £375,000 of money raised through...

Cancer Research UK's Race for Life tops list of mass particpation fundraising events

22 Jul 2016

Cancer Research’s Race for Life raised £52.8m last year making it the highest-earning mass participation...

Fundraising Regulator levy proposals ‘unfair’ on smaller organisations, say stakeholders

22 Jul 2016

Representatives of small and medium charities have said that the proposed levy disproportionately affects...

Big Lottery spending down more than £300m after large project delayed

20 Jul 2016

Big Lottery Fund grant-giving fell from over £900m to just under £600m in the year to March 2016, after...

Blockchain technology could ‘revolutionise’ charity regulation, says report

21 Jul 2016

Blockchain technology could eventually be used to carry out many of the functions of a traditional regulator,...

Macmillan, Cancer Research UK and Brooke use Pokemon Go to encourage fundraising

14 Jul 2016

Macmillan Cancer Support, Cancer Research UK and Brooke are among the charities to encourage fundraising...

Stop looking for a 'big bang' moment for digital transformation

4 Jul 2016

Charities should stop looking for a “big bang” moment in digital transformation and instead focus...

Join the discussion


Attending our one day courses is a highly effective way of ensuring new and existing trustees fully understand their role, responsibilities and liabilities.

>> Find out more <<