This is a time where your employees may want to volunteer to help their communities coping with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This may be particularly true for the healthcare industry, where a lot of employees are healthcare professionals.

If you want to support such initiatives, below are the main points to be mindful of.

  • Clearly set out the rules and the attention points to help volunteer employees and their managers understand the implications.
  • Consider whether you want to allow employees to volunteer (also) during normal working hours. This can be compatible with certain types of roles, but not with others and the impact on the volunteer employees’ ongoing work should be taken into account. Also, check side-activity clauses in the employment contract.
  • If your employees want to volunteer as healthcare professionals (provided they are qualified to do so), remind them that they need to be covered by professional malpractice insurance.
  • Urge the volunteer employees to ensure that their voluntary work is compatible with their health situation. In doing so, avoid collecting unnecessary health data, which could put the organisation at risk from a data protection perspective.
  • Based on the recommendation of health authorities, think about how (and for how long) to keep the volunteer employees quarantined after the end of their volunteering period to prevent them contaminating other employees in the workplace. The potential impact of such a period on their remuneration should also be considered if they cannot work remotely.
  • Check whether the volunteer employees will be covered by your employer's liability insurance while they are volunteering. An amendment to your existing insurance policy may be required. The employees may otherwise be covered by the insurance of the hospital they volunteer for.