Larger companies are more likely to give staff paid time off to volunteer for charity, according to a poll for Close Brothers Asset Finance.
The research found that overall 39 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) allowed paid time off for employees to participate in charitable events, while a further 31 per cent offered unpaid leave. The remaining 30 per cent of business owners ask employees to take it as annual leave.
Of the 900 companies surveyed, ones with more staff were more likely to offer paid leave for volunteering. More than half of companies with a staff of more than 250 offered paid time off for charitable activities, while 29 per cent of companies between 1 and 10 said they did the same.
More than half of SMEs polled, 53 per cent, said they supported a charity – rising to 82 per cent in London – noting that it both creates a bond in the team and gives employees “something positive to focus on”. Indeed, 63 per cent agreed that supporting a charity is important for employees morale.
There are 47 per cent who do not formally support charities, of those 11 per cent feel they are not large enough.
Although the majority of SMEs think supporting a charity is good for morale, many feel their workers are suffering from “donation fatigue”. The survey found that 41 per cent think their employees are suffering “donation fatigue”; in London this rises to 71 per cent.
Close Brothers Asset Finance used an independent third party which canvassed the opinions of over 900 SME owners across the UK and Ireland and across several industries on a range of issues affecting their businesses.
“Over the last few years, in particular, support for charities has increasingly become embedded into businesses’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda and strategy,” said Neil Davies, chief executive of Close Brothers Asset Finance.
He added: “This comes with multiple benefits, from promoting employee morale to attracting new talent to the business, many of who put a large amount of store in a potential employer’s CSR commitments.”