Some of our students and staff may wish to respond to the NHS Scotland call for volunteers to assist the NHS and vulnerable members of the community at this time of national crisis.
We recognise that many of you will choose to volunteer in your own time. If you do this please make sure that the organisation you volunteer with is looking after your wellbeing.
If you wish to volunteer during your working time the University’s Staff Volunteering Policy will apply. This recognises the positive benefits that come from increased community engagement. The aim of the policy is to enable and support members of staff to be proactive in voluntary activities that mutually benefit the individual, the University and the community.
Under the policy staff are eligible to apply for two working days of paid volunteering leave per year (or pro rata for staff who work part time). The Policy recognises that some volunteering activities will require commitment and participation over and above this period and some staff may want to volunteer for more than two days. We recognise that this may be the case for a number of staff who wish to help with the community effort associated with COVID-19 at this time. The normal requirement for requests to be submitted 4 weeks in advance of volunteering does not apply in the current circumstances.
Please speak to your Head of Department/School or line manager and they will work with you to ensure that any potential volunteering does not conflict with University duties. To protect your own health and safety, you will need to complete a risk assessment for the volunteering activity as outlined in the policy.
For staff who want to be released to work to volunteer for the NHS or Social Services please speak to your line manager or Head of Department so that they can work with you and HR as required, to identify the best way to facilitate this, to ensure that your wellbeing is protected and your current University duties can be supported. This may require a formal secondment arrangement with the receiving organisation.
The UK Government is introducing the COVID-19 Act 2020: Emergency Volunteering Leave. This legislation will permit some people to take statutory unpaid leave to carry out both COVID-19-related, and non-COVID-19 related essential services. If this sounds like something that will support you at this time, please discuss with your HR Team.