Responding to plans announced by the Conservative party today to legislate to force companies with more than 250 employees to give three additional days of paid annual leave for volunteering, Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said:
"Many, many businesses are already highly engaged in their local community and with charitable causes, and the IoD thoroughly supports them. However, the policy announced today does not appear to be have been thought through at all. Passing a law to compel firms to pay their staff to volunteer for charity is hardly in keeping with the spirit of philanthropy.
“Businesses should support their staff if they want to volunteer, but the architects of this idea cannot pretend that forcing firms to give an additional three days of paid leave will do anything other than add costs. Time off for charity work and volunteering is a matter for managers and employees to discuss between themselves, not a target for heavy-handed government intervention.
"This announcement not only undermines the Tory record on reducing business regulation, it also puts additional pressure on public sector employers, and ultimately the taxpayer. Frankly, the essence of volunteering is that it is voluntary. The IoD would welcome proposals to incentivise and make it easier for companies to facilitate volunteering, but it has to be a choice.”