Finance proves it pays to show a charitable side

The accounting and finance industry has been cited as one of the best for giving paid leave to employees to volunteer, as businesses look to utilise their skills and time to support charities.

Researchers look at 1,000 UK companies across 20 sectors to find out which ones are most likely to run such initiatives. They found that, of all 50 accounting and finance firms analysed, half offered them.

What’s more, staff can expect to take an average of 0.8 days per year, although one finance company offer as much as six days.

Many financial companies encourage their employees to take pro-bono work, to support disadvantaged groups with their strategic expertise, according to business software providers, The Access Group.

Others work on more traditional charitable initiatives, such as sponsored walks, volunteering in charity shops for the day, or even helping local schools.

The legal sector came first in the report, with over three-quarters of law firms offering charity days, followed by telecoms and building and construction.

At the other end of the scale, no company in the travel and tourism sector suggested they offered paid time off to volunteer, while warehousing and logistics and transport were only marginally higher at three and five firms respectively.

As well as supporting good causes, many of these businesses will also be reaping the wider benefits of volunteering, such as improving staff recruitment, engagement and retention

“Embracing the spirit of corporate responsibility, companies that generously offer paid volunteering days not only invest in the growth and well-being of their staff but also weave a tapestry of positive impact within the very fabric of our society,” said Shaf Mansour, divisional senior product manager.

“It’s a symbiotic relationship where the company flourishes, employees thrive, and communities are enriched, showcasing the true power of business with a heart.”

Caroline Fanning, chief employee success officer, said: “Many charities need your skills more than your money, and the finance sector is well-placed to offer their skills and experience to help with financial planning and strategic advice.

“As well as supporting good causes, many of these businesses will also be reaping the wider benefits of volunteering, such as improving staff recruitment, engagement and retention. But it was clear from our research that other sectors face significant barriers to volunteering.

“Warehousing and logistics, transport, manufacturing, healthcare and hospitality all ranked low in our table – which is no surprise given that they’ve all been hit by acute labour shortages in recent years. They may also have a higher proportion of temporary or agency workers who don’t take part in company activities beyond their work.

“Every sector has its own challenges, but it’s possible to start small and go from there. Business software can help because it’s designed to reduce onerous admin and free people up to concentrate on the more rewarding aspects of their job, as well as time to volunteer.

“Technology also makes it easier for HR teams to deliver initiatives, by providing a central hub for employees to nominate good causes and then inspire them to arrange or get involved in activities.”


Research source: The Access Group.

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