International Day of Charity: Almost two thirds of UK employees cannot take CSR days off

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In light of today (5th September) being International Day of Charity, it has been found that nearly two thirds of UK employees do not receive any days off from work to volunteer for a charity.

This is according to research from employee experience platform Perkbox who found that 63 per cent of UK employees gets no Corporate social responsibility (CSR) days off from work to volunteer. CSR is a self-regulating business model that helps a company be socially accountable, to itself, its stakeholders, and the public.

The research also showed that certain industries are worse than others. Three quarters (75 per cent) of employees who work in healthcare, architecture, engineering and building industries do not receive any volunteering days from their employers.

Only 16 per cent of workers receive one day off from work to volunteer with 12 per cent receiving more than one day.

The industries that receive the most volunteering days are professional services and arts & culture. Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of employees in these industries get more than one day off a year to volunteer.

London comes out as the top part of the country that offers the most volunteering days, with 41 per cent of London workers receiving either one or more CSR days off annually. The North East comes in as the second highest region with 35 per cent of employees taking CSR days off.

Stephen Bullock, recruitment manager at Aecom said:

I fully encourage and support my team members to give back to the community in which they live. As a responsible employer, when employed by Aecom you can give back to communities with up to two paid CSR days each year to charity of your choice. With over 6000 staff in the UK&I that’s 12,000 days of giving back locally!

Out of the charitable options on offer, 42 per cent said they would like to volunteer at a healthcare charity, 33 per cent would like to give back to their community and 31 per cent would like to choose environmental causes.

Chieu Cao, co-founder at Perkbox said:

It’s clear that workplaces need to be doing more to allow employees to take time and contribute to charities. With already limited personal time, without being given volunteering days, those in full-time positions must fit volunteering into their evenings and weekends, causing them to juggle commitments. This often means that volunteering can fall to the back burner – affecting both social consciousness and society itself.

By allowing employees to give back to the wider community and the charitable causes that matter to them most, it can fulfill an important sense of purpose and allow people to use their skills in a different way from their day-to-day work, in turn, contributing to overall employee happiness. Companies must look past their own goals to identify the needs of society as a whole, as those with employees who want to help have a real chance to make a change.

Perkbox conducted this study by asking the opinion of 1,342 UK employees.

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