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Volunteering policy for public servants

​Description of change
​Reason for change
​Date approved


​Addition of code of practice

​Clarity on which code and policy family this policy belongs to
​23 January 2023
Amend Director General to Chief Officer
​Change in role title
​25 January 2023

​Changes to procedure, application to register volunteers now managed internally
​To ensure procedure is reflective of changes
​​4 December 2023

​Change of public servants to employees
​To reflect ​terminology used across policies
​​4 December 2023


Review date changed to 21 April 2026
​Formal review done
​​11 April 2024​

​Details of how to add to the approved volunteering list
​To inform how to process
​11 April 2024​

​Description of change
​Reason for change
​Date approved


​Addition of code of practice

​Clarity on which code and policy family this policy belongs to
​23 January 2023
Amend Director General to Chief Officer
​Change in role title
​25 January 2023

​Changes to procedure, application to register volunteers now managed internally
​To ensure procedure is reflective of changes
​​4 December 2023

​Change of public servants to employees
​To reflect ​terminology used across policies
​​4 December 2023


Review date changed to 21 April 2026
​Formal review done
​​11 April 2024​

​Details of how to add to the approved volunteering list
​To inform how to process
​11 April 2024​

​​​​​​ ​Introduction

This document comes in two parts.

Part one sets out the Jersey public service policy and principles regarding the Our People, Our Community Volunteering Programme.

Part two provides the procedure, setting out how to implement the policy with links to toolkit items to give you more information. The procedure is intended as a guide only and may change or be varied from time to time.

TitleVolunteering policy for public servants
AuthorOrganisational Development
Document TypePolicy
Issue date
4 December 2023
Effective date11 April 2024
Review date21 April 2026

This policy supersedes all previous policies, circulars and procedures connected with volunteering within the Public Service.

Code of practice and policy family

This policy forms part of the code of practice for engagement. This code will be reviewed at the start of each term of States Employment Board, or earlier where relevant legislation or regulations change.

Volunteering policy

Policy purpose

This policy and procedure aim to:

  • ensure everyone is treated in a fair, consistent, and equal manner, free from discrimination and victimisation
  • be clearly written, easy to understand and apply
  • ensure our compliance with the Employment (Jersey) Law 2003, Discrimination (Jersey) Law 2013 and other relevant legislation and regulations

This policy allows and enables public servants to undertake up to 22 hours paid volunteer time off during work time. The purpose of this document is to provide public servants with clear guidelines when taking paid volunteer time off.

Jersey Public Services and Non-Ministerial Departments recognise public servants want to give back through their work as expressed in the results of the 2020 Be Heard Survey.

Participation in voluntary activities creates mutual benefit for public servants, our organisation, and our island community. Volunteering can help to develop both professional and personal skills, support wellbeing, and provide a valuable insight into our island communities which can be brought back into the workplace.

Policy principles

All our policies are underpinned by our values and behaviours.

Our commitment to you is that:

  • we recognise the contribution that a public servants volunteering programme can make to the employer, employee, and wider community
  • we empower you to contribute to your community, whilst at the same time enhancing your learning and development opportunities
  • we want to continue to enhance the public service support, to the voluntary and community sector (VCS)
  • we will work with the VCS in promoting volunteering opportunities and securing take up
  • we will support and encourage public servants to take up opportunities but recognise that volunteering is a matter of personal choice

Policy scope

This policy applies to all public servants, whether permanent or on fixed term contracts, to receive volunteer time off.

Part time public servants are eligible to volunteer time off pro-rata (for instance working 14.8 hours per week – enables up to 8.8 hours volunteer time off per year) or pro-rata if you join the organisation partway through the year.

This policy does not apply to:

  • public servants engaged on zero-hour agreements
  • public servants working for the public services and Non-Ministerial Departments through a contract for services on an interim, locum, self-employed, or agency basis

Performance and key accountabilities

All of us

Volunteering time must be used for its intended purpose. Any suspected instances of misuse will be investigated in accordance with the Government of Jersey's / Non-Ministerial Departments disciplinary procedures. 

As representatives of the Government of Jersey / Non-Ministerial Departments your actions will directly reflect on the organisation. As a result, all public servants must act in line with the Code of Conduct and our organisations' values and behaviours whilst using Volunteer time off.

It is important to be respectful of confidentiality when undertaking voluntary activity. In practice, this means not sharing any sensitive or confidential information. 

In addition, public servants must report any concerns of safeguarding breaches/unlawful practices while volunteering to The Jersey Charity Commissioner.

Seeking line managers' permission to take Volunteer time off. If you have any issues with line managers' approval, contact People Hub for further guidance.

Line managers

“Our managers are role models, set clear standards and are supportive” (People Strategy Commitment – Your Experience). As a line manager, you are responsible for modelling our values and behaviour expectations. You set the tone for your team.

People Strategy

You are responsible for familiarising yourself with this policy and understanding the importance of your role in the procedure. You are also responsible for undertaking any relevant management training or briefing session related to this policy or people management generally.

You must ensure that individuals are aware of the support measures available to them and be mindful of general team wellbeing.

It is always at a manager's discretion to approve volunteering, and this can be declined if operational capacity doesn't allow. It is important that managers take the necessary steps to encourage public servants to utilise this policy.

Time off for volunteering can be declined where a public servant is undergoing any part of the disciplinary or capability process. 

Chief People and Transformation Officer

You are the custodian of all public service people policies. 

You will ensure that this policy and its procedure is implemented using appropriate communication methods, to aid organisation wide awareness, in order that responsibilities can be fulfilled. 

You will ensure reviews take place in line with the schedule in the policy control sheet and that development of this policy and procedure is in keeping with the Corporate Policy Framework, People Policy Guidelines and our People Strategy.

Chief Executive Officer, Chief Officers and Heads of Administration

You are accountable for familiarising yourself with: 

  • our six Codes of Practice
  • this policy and it’s procedure

You are responsible for ensuring line managers and employees within your department carry out their responsibilities, as set out in this policy. Notifying and recording any breaches of and upholding the spirit of the code of this policy and procedure.

You are responsible for modelling and championing our values and ensuring that our organisation’s standards and expectations are communicated clearly and fully adopted by your department. You set the tone for the behaviours both within your department and across the organisation.

States Employment Board

The Board has a duty to issue Codes of Practice in accordance with Article 8 of the Employment of States of Jersey Employees (Jersey) Law 2005. This code will be reviewed at the start of each States Employment Board term, or earlier where relevant legislation or regulations change.

The procedure

Volunteering allowance

You are eligible to take up to 22 hours pro rata paid volunteer time off per year to undertake volunteering work for qualified community organisations or causes in accordance with this policy. Volunteer time off cannot be carried over from one year to the next, in addition, this will not be paid, if not used.

This policy and allowance can be used from the start of employment and volunteer time off can be used flexibly. If less than a day is needed, then you will be required to return to work after the volunteering has finished, and the time taken will be deducted from your volunteering allowance.

Volunteer time off must be taken on island to benefit our Island’s communities and should typically be performed during your normal working hours. If there are occasions you wish to use volunteer time off outside of these working hours and recover the hours using pro rata time off in lieu, further approval needs to be sought from your line manager.

It is recognised that providing volunteering opportunities during working time outside of a Monday to Friday 9-5 environment is a challenge for small teams, single person reliance and essential workers. In a situation where working hours volunteering cannot be provided, managers in those areas can default to support 'out of hours' activity.

The Jersey Overseas Aid section of the Special Leave Policy is now encompassed in this policy and as a result, anyone who wants to take part in a Jersey Overseas Aid (JOA) off and on Island work projects will now be able to take up to the equivalent of their working hours per week in a rolling year (in addition to the 22 standard volunteer time off hours). Off Island work for any organisation aside from JOA is not permitted.

If you wish to undertake extra volunteering in addition to your standard volunteer time off or for Jersey Overseas Aid work, this can be taken as unpaid leave at the discretion of your line manager.

You will continue to be entitled to the outlined volunteering within the Public Service Category of the Special Leave Policy.

Approval process

It is important that all employees and line managers take a considerate and pragmatic approach to the use of this policy. When line managers are approving volunteer time off, as with annual leave, operational requirements should be taken into consideration.

You can only volunteer with approved on-island registered organisations, i.e., those holding a registered charity number. 

Managers can apply to have organisations added to the 'approved volunteering' list by contacting . To be 'approved', the manager will have had to undertake and record 'due diligence' checks to ensure the organisation is suitable to allow Public Service employee volunteering.​

Prior to taking time off, you must discuss and agree your volunteering leave with your immediate line manager and request the time away from the workplace in either e-roster or MyView.

Volunteer time off must not be used to support organisations that could potentially discriminate in relation to a protected characteristic (as defined by the Discrimination (Jersey) Law 2013 as amended from time to time). In addition, volunteering cannot be undertaken for political organisations or trade union work which is politically driven. 

Volunteering behaviour and policy misuse

The Standards of Public Service Code of Practice should always be followed and our values upheld, especially when representing the public service at events such as volunteering. Any complaints or issues raised regarding conduct while volunteering, or if it is found that there has been misuse of this policy by taking advantage of volunteer time off, will be managed in line with the relevant disciplinary policy.​

Health and safety, and insurance

While undertaking volunteer time off, employees will not be covered by the public service's insurance. It is the responsibility of the host organisation to provide the relevant insurance cover.

Employees are responsible for abiding by Health and Safety legislative requirements, especially in terms of a duty of care to themselves and others.

The host organisation will be responsible for providing any induction, health and safety or other training required in order that the volunteer can perform activities correctly and safely.

The host organisation will also undertake a risk assessment for the relevant volunteering activity, and you should not participate without reasonable and practicable risk management in place.

The host organisation is also responsible for ensuring any required safeguarding training and/or Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or police vetting checks are processed and in place prior to the start of the volunteering activity. This will be done at the expense of the host organisation.

Expenses and gifts

Any expenses incurred whilst volunteering are the responsibility of the host organisation. Employees are advised to confirm any reimbursement provisions with the host organisation prior to commencing an activity.

As a general principle,​ it is unacceptable for an employee to accept a valuable gift or cash for personal reward. This, therefore, includes gifts that may be offered​ while volunteering. On all occasions, prior to accepting a gift or cash, advice and approval should be sought from the line manager. Gifts such as flowers or chocolates, can be kept, especially if refusal would lead to upset or offence on the part of the giver. Calendars, diaries, and similar items of token value which may sometimes be given at Christmas or after a visit to an organisation can be accepted.

Further guidance can be found in the Accepting gifts (Public Finances Manual).​

Support and wellbeing

Your wellbeing is our priority, everyone should feel safe and supported in the workplace. Sources of wellbeing support and guidance can be found for public servants on MyStates.

Good practice guide

The volunteering programme is designed to enable colleagues to continue to play an active and positive role in our community, and to support causes that are close to their hearts.

How to find your volunteering opportunity

​Discuss, find, contact, join, record

Your chosen volunteering venue should be one that your team are happy to support, and that can offer activities your whole team can be involved in. It also needs to work from a practical point of view – large enough to accommodate you all, accessible to you all and so on.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • allow plenty of time, around 8 weeks to plan an event
  • ask your team. Many people will have a strong emotional connection to a particular cause. Invite your team to suggest organisations, but ensure you manage expectations. Not everyone in the team will be happy with every cause, and you cannot support them all
  • use existing work contacts. Think about organisations you and your team already work with or have supported before
  • ask about personal connections. Team members will be involved with lots of organisations such as schools, scout or guide groups, community centres, care homes etc. Manage expectations as you cannot support them all
  • a note about schools: often the only way to engage schools is through this kind of personal connection. You will also find that some schools will not allow teams of volunteers on site due to safeguarding concerns. However, there is no legal requirement for a one-off team of volunteers to have a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check so long as they are supervised by school staff. Also bear in mind the school calendar (holidays, exams, festive activities) will all impact on a school's capacity to host volunteers
  • keep your eye on local newspapers and Facebook groups. There are often stories about local organisations or initiatives that need volunteers
  • research online. A simple search of charities and public bodies in a local area on Google Maps will also bring up local organisations and contact details
  • keep records. Keep a list of who you have been in touch with, the main contact, and any relevant information such as the type of opportunity they can offer, dates available etc. Make sure this information can be accessed by relevant colleagues in your absence
  • make your offer clear in your first approach. Tell the organisation what you are offering: "We are a team of willing volunteers who would love to help your organisation for a day. We are offering our time, labour, and enthusiasm, and are prepared to consider any reasonable challenge, practical or interactive"
  • give organisations reasonable time to consider your proposal and come up with a suggested volunteering activity. Your request will have come out of the blue. They might really want your support but have other immediate priorities
  • say no to unsuitable opportunities. If it is too short notice, if it is not appropriate for the whole team, or for any other reason, be prepared to say no thank you
  • bear in mind the individuals in your team. Does anyone have a condition that will affect what tasks they can do? Examples of this could be pregnancy, back pain, allergies to animals or materials on site or phobias
  • use the Checklist to make sure you have considered everything relevant at this stage:
    • check the essentials before you commit
    • your venue must be either a registered charity or public body
    • it must have public liability insurance with cover of at least £5 million in place on your proposed volunteering day
    • there must be someone suitably experienced from the organisation available on the day to greet volunteers, give them an introduction to the site and a tool talk, and to supervise work for the full day
    • they must agree to attend a site visit a couple of weeks before the volunteering day to run through exact tasks and all other arrangements
    • once you have a suitable opportunity, run it by your team to make sure everyone is happy with the organisation and the proposed tasks

Site visit

Two or 3 weeks before the volunteering day, you need to visit the site where your team will be volunteering and meet up with the organisation representative who will be supervising on the day. This normally takes around 30 to 45 minutes.

The visit will give you the opportunity to familiarise yourself with the site, so that you can help team members on the day by directing them to toilets, work areas, where to have lunch etc. It is also the time to finalise all the arrangements and the tasks the team will undertake.

Some tips to make the most of the visit:

  • take the Checklist with you to make sure you cover all the relevant questions
  • wear suitable clothing for the site – do not go to a nature reserve in your best work shoes
  • take a notebook and pen/tablet for additional notes
  • take photos which you can share with your team ahead of the day to help them know what to expect. For example, the entrance to the site, where they will be meeting, and the area where they will be working
  • take a colleague with you so that they can step up if for any reason you cannot make it on the day. Share all your notes with them
  • get mobile phone numbers for your main contact and an alternative contact person at the organisation. Give them your mobile numbers too
  • when agreeing timings, make sure you consider team members who may have personal commitments, such as school pick-ups/drop-offs, or caring responsibilities

After the site visit you can write up the information on to the Project Overview template to share all the relevant information with your team members.


You will need to use and complete the following documents:

The volunteering day

On the day, it is a good idea to make sure you get to the site a little early so that you can greet your team as they arrive and chase up any latecomers. Your role today is to make sure people know what they are doing and where they should be.

  • take the Checklist and Team Sign-in sheet with you to make sure you cover everything you need to
  • take a couple of pens for people to sign in with
  • once everyone has assembled, welcome the team, ask them to sign-in and introduce them to the organisation representative before you hand over to them for the tool talk
  • ask someone to take some 'official' photos, just to make sure everyone is included. Before and after pictures of the work site are always good
  • share images on social media if this is appropriate. Check with the organisation representative if there is anything they want included in any post
  • throughout the day, make sure people are ok with what they are doing. People sometimes offer to do a task because they really want to help, only to find after ten or twenty minutes that it is too tiring. You can help here by offering to swap people around to different jobs, making sure people take enough breaks
  • enjoy yourself!

After the event

Getting feedback from your team and from the host organisation is a good way to learn how to improve future events. It can also give you some great quotes to use if you want to promote volunteering to other colleagues.

The day after the event is a good time to ask for people's feedback. On the day they may need to get away quickly (and be very tired!), and if you leave it too long people's memories fade and other priorities take over.

  • keep feedback requests focused and short – a few specific questions and space for a general comment is as much as most people have time for
  • ask your team and the contact at the venue if they have any photos they can share
  • send your thanks to the team and to the venue for taking part
  • destroy the team sign-in sheet in line with data protection guidelines
  • you will also need to ask your team members to log the time on My View (do not forget to add your own hours too)

Guide for volunteers

The value of a well developed volunteering scheme as a good investment for all employers both large and small, is beyond question. Organisations can increase employee retention, reduce absenteeism, whilst also increasing workplace satisfaction, morale, and productivity.

The introduction of a time-off for volunteering policy aims to provide real and measurable benefits to the community, our employees and to the organisation as a whole.

Benefits for the community and environment​

Social impact 

Community partners, charities and public organisations benefit by having additional volunteers to support their core services, complete work they would not be able to otherwise, free up precious funds, share their knowledge and skills, boost morale and also bring a new perspective to their activities.

Skills development 

Employees are empowered to plan volunteer opportunities with a charity partner, gain new skills alongside improving the ones they already have such as project management, teamwork, communication, empathy, leadership or coaching. For newer employees, this can mean taking the first steps in to learning valuable managerial skills, and for senior leadership this is an opportunity to mentor others through peer support and enabling equity of opportunity.


Volunteers work directly with a cause they care about and they can see the direct impact first hand; there's a huge feel good factor attached to that. Studies by the Wales Centre for Public Policy and Leeds Becket University have pointed to a strong correlation between 'purposeful social connection to meet community need' and 'enhanced wellbeing'.

Guidance for individual volunteers

As outlined in the Volunteering policy, staff can use up to 22 hours per year (pro rata) of volunteering leave for placements they have arranged themselves or as part of a work team event. This could be something they have been involved with in their own time for a while or something new. This toolkit aims to provide some further information and support for colleagues on getting the most out of volunteering.

What counts as volunteering?

Volunteering leave is giving your unpaid time through a registered organisation such as a charity or school. Volunteering leave cannot include campaigning for a political organisation, work experience, work related training, study time, informal help for a friend/family member or paid work for a charity. All volunteering leave must be on Island and for the benefit of island life.

How to find a volunteering placement

Sometimes organisations won't be advertising all of their opportunities so it can also be useful to approach them directly if there isn't anything currently advertised on the various volunteering sites.

Ask your friends and family. Many people already volunteer and would be delighted to tell you about their organisation and any roles that are available.

Check out your local library, community centre, shops, community green space or school. They often have posters from local community groups.

If there is a particular area of interest or a volunteer role that would help to develop a specific skill you'd like to try,​ then consider approaching a charity or public organisation speculatively to offer help.

Getting started

Before signing up with a community partner make sure you check that:

  • the role and organisation are approved under the Government of Jersey's volunteering policy
  • you can commit to the time and duration of the role
  • you can get to the community partner easily
  • your line manager agrees to you taking the time off

Top tips for a successful volunteering experience

Finding a role

  • choose a volunteering opportunity in a field that you feel passionate about, you'll be more likely to commit and enjoy it
  • getting started often takes longer than you'd think, especially if applying for DBS checks or completing training
  • use volunteering to develop your skills, it's something great to talk about at your annual review and can help with career progression
  • be realistic about the time you can give; your volunteering time may not cover all of the time required for the commitment but you can also consider using some of your own time too
  • don't be put off if someone takes a long time to get back to you, voluntary sector organisations are often very busy but that doesn't mean they don't want your help

During your volunteering

  • know that any time you can give makes a difference and is hugely appreciated
  • it's important that you fulfil your commitments and turn up on time, every time
  • if you're unable to attend or know you will be late, always contact your community partner to let them know with as much notice as possible
  • be a role model for others by always demonstrating tolerance and enthusiasm.

When your role ends

  • give honest feedback if you're asked for it
  • say thank you to the people who volunteered with you
  • tell your colleagues how you've enjoyed volunteering! If they can't commit to regular volunteering why not encourage them to take part in a team volunteering day via your community ambassador

Staying safe

You are responsible for your own safety when volunteering with the support of the organisation you volunteer with. As you may be getting involved in something you haven't done before it's worth keeping a few things in mind with regards to your own safety:

  • make sure you follow all the procedures that are set by your community partner
  • don't take any unnecessary risks when travelling to and from a volunteer placement
  • speak up if there are any problems or if there is anything you don't fully understand
  • report any accidents, incidents or near misses to your community partner
  • report any specific conditions or personal circumstance you may have to ensure the community partner can make necessary adaptions to keep you safe
  • always let a colleague, friend or family member know where you're going and what time you're expected back
  • don't do anything you are not comfortable with
  • if the role requires any particular technical expertise, consider whether you are qualified to do it or is support and training in place?
  • volunteer with a recognised charity or public body. A well-established group is more likely to have the relevant insurances in place and take your safety as a volunteer seriously. Some of the following indicators can help you to decide if they are a good group to volunteer with: a registered charity number, run by a local authority, have a board of trustees or a committee or provide volunteers with an induction, have public liability insurance cover and clear risk management protocols for the premises and or people visiting/working in the premises.

Volunteering with at risk adults or children

Some volunteering roles could bring you into contact with adults at risk (adults needing help with day to day living due to age, illness or disability) or children (under 18s). These roles can be very rewarding, for example reading with a primary school child, or befriending an elderly person, but there are a few extra things to think about.

Extra recruitment checks are necessary for the community partner to make sure they recruit people who are suitable to work with children or at-risk adults:

  • you will probably be asked to complete a police check (called a DBS check). This is usually free of charge for voluntary roles. The organisation who manages this will have a code of conduct and a policy about recruitment of ex-offenders – you can ask for copies of these if you wish
  • you may need to provide details of referees
  • you may need to complete an application form
  • you may be asked to attend safeguarding training
  • you may be asked to attend specific prevent training

When you volunteer with children or at risk adults there are some simple guidelines to make sure you don't get into a situation where you could be at risk:

  • follow all the guidance that your community partner gives you
  • never allow yourself to be left alone, out of earshot, with a child/ren or at-risk adult/s
  • avoid physical contact as much as possible
  • never enter into a pact of secrecy with a child or at-risk adult
  • speak to the named safeguarding lead or another appropriate staff member as soon as possible if you are concerned about a vulnerable person – whether you think they may be experiencing abuse, or perhaps they've misunderstood something you said
  • report to the named safeguarding lead or another appropriate staff member straight away if a child or at-risk adult discloses a safeguarding concern to you.
  • never share your contact information, connect on social media with a child or at-risk adult
  • never arrange to meet a child or at-risk adult outside of the arrangements you have agreed with the community partner

Sources of support

Guide for managers

Overview of the volunteering policy

Our colleagues play an active and positive role in their local communities. The introduction of a volunteering policy further strengthens our commitment to make a positive difference to the communities we serve. The policy aims to provide real and measurable benefits to the community, our employees and to the organisation.

All employees who are eligible in line with the policy can take advantage of up to 22 hours (pro rata) of paid volunteering leave per year.

Why the Government of Jersey is getting involved in volunteering

The value of a well-developed, well managed volunteering programme as a good investment for all employers both large and small is beyond question. Organisations can increase employee retention, reduce absenteeism, whilst also increasing workplace satisfaction, morale, and productivity.

Across sectors, employees increasingly want to know and feel that the time and skills they put into their jobs are making a tangible, positive difference in the world. This is a common sentiment, especially prevalent among millennials, who are often more likely to seek out positions with organisations that offer and support active community engagement. Seventy percent of millennials say an organisation's commitment to social value and sustainability would influence their decision to work there according to research by Deloitte. Future leaders will have a different mind-set right from the beginning of their career and a lot will already have had some voluntary experience.

Leadership, growth​ and mentorship

Incorporating volunteering into an organisation's career development program by connecting volunteer opportunities to skills advancement and recognition process creates opportunities for employees to gain valuable leadership experience by volunteering.

Employees are empowered to plan volunteer opportunities with a charity partner, gain new skills alongside improving the ones they already have. For newer employees this can mean gaining managerial experience, and for senior leadership this is an opportunity to mentor others through peer support and enabling equity of opportunity.

Reducing staff turnover and improving staff wellbeing

At least 70% of respondents in the Deloitte 2017 volunteerism survey indicate that volunteering provided them an "improved sense of purpose," believed it was more likely to "boost employee morale", and helps in having a "more pleasant work atmosphere." Additionally, at least 77% of respondents in the same survey found volunteering "essential to employee well-being," and contributing to having a "better overall working environment."

These actions contribute to fostering a better environment for employees, and in the long-term, can save thousands in costs associated with employee turnover. 

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