Cameron breathes life into Big Society – promises paid volunteering leave

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David Cameron is set to revive his promise to force firms to pay staff to do voluntary work despite a disgruntled reaction from business, the Daily Mail reports. The plan, to allow 15 million workers to take three days off a year to volunteer, is a set-piece policy that Cameron hopes to deliver before he leaves office in 2020.

Mr Cameron has apparently ordered every line of the 30,000-word 2015 Conservative manifesto be assigned to individual ministers to ensure it is delivered in full before the end of the current parliament.

It has led to a Whitehall bun-fight over where policies end up, with the Treasury challenging departments over how much they claim the Prime Minister’s election-winning promises should cost to deliver.

It was thought that volunteering leave had been shelved to avoid a confrontation with business, as it failed to make an appearance in the first Queen’s speech after the general election.

The new policy would mean that employers with more than 250 staff will be forced to rewrite contracts to include volunteering leave. David Cameron’s much mocked ‘Big Society’ aimed to empower local people and communities to build a ‘big society’ that would take power away from politicians and give it to people. It was barely given a mention during the victorious Tory election campaign of 2015. 

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