The Coronavirus Act 2020
The Coronavirus Act 2020 creates a new, temporary, statutory right for eligible workers to take Emergency Volunteering Leave to assist the Health and Social Care system in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Sections 8 and 9 refer to Emergency Volunteers
Sections 8 and 9 – Emergency Volunteers
- Emergency Volunteering Leave will create a new, unpaid statutory right for eligible (i.e. suitably qualified/skilled) employees to take during the Coronavirus crisis.
- The ability to take this leave will be triggered by the UKG commencing a 16 week ‘emergency period’ where the Health Service has indicated it needs skilled volunteers to meet demand.
- The leave will be taken in 2, 3 or 4 week blocks and can only be taken once during the 16 week emergency period.
- A second, or third etc., 16 week ‘emergency period’ can be called by the government at a later date & all those eligible can take another block period of leave (2, 3 or 4 weeks) during that subsequent ‘emergency period’.
- To become an Emergency Volunteer for these purposes the employee must engage with their regional health trust to identify a suitable volunteering need that they have the skills to meet.
- Once agreed the health trust will issue the employee with an Emergency Volunteering Leave certificate which they must provide to their employers at least 3 working days before the first day of their Emergency Volunteering Leave.
The ability to take Emergency Volunteering Leave will end at the end of the Coronavirus outbreak.