‘Volunteering’ – clarity on the WSCC position

During the Covid-19 pandemic there may be an ongoing need to ask staff at WSCC to accept different work and roles. It is important though that members ask questions about this work before accepting it so they are clear.

‘Volunteering’ is a term which can have a dual meaning. You might ‘volunteer’ to accept different work but with the full expectation that you will be paid for it. Or you might ‘volunteer’ for different work or duties on an unpaid basis. In civic society, ‘volunteering’ means working without pay for the common good.

At the outset of its response to the Covid-19 pandemic there was a lack of clarity in early WSCC communications on this. The branch has raised this with the council who have said they will look at the wording of future communications. Currently however the request for volunteers is closed.


The WSCC position is that if the work is undertaken within normal work hours it is redeployment and so paid volunteering. Pay is at the staff member’s usual rate of pay, unless there are exceptional circumstances where someone is working at a more senior level.

But if the work undertaken is over and above the usual working hours of the person, it is unpaid volunteering. There is no scope for pay, overtime or TOIL.

Although many members will want to ‘do their bit’ and help out with the community response to Covid-19, it is important to be clear what you are signing up for.

Don’t hesitate to ask your manager if you are not clear or contact your rep or the branch office for advice.

You are not obliged to accept requests to volunteer, and should be mindful of the impact working additional hours could have on your family life and wellbeing.

The Children’s Services Out of Hours rota and Adults’ Services 7-day rota and separate to this, and attract pay for Children’s Services and Adults’ Services staff respectively.