Requests for Time Off to Volunteer

HR statement on staff and faculty volunteering during work hours

The university wishes to provide opportunities for staff and faculty to take part in community activities as volunteers, while being accountable to the public for our financial and operational practices regarding faculty and staff.

For staff and faculty who wish to volunteer at a time that coincides with their scheduled work hours/responsibilities, we have direction on how they may request to take that time away from work.


In the ordinary course of carrying out their duties and responsibilities, faculty members have considerable flexibility in allocating their time, including evenings and weekends, subject to class schedules, deadlines, research and service commitments, etc.

Casual commitments can usually be accommodated within the work week. Should faculty members wish to participate more extensively in volunteer activities during work days, they are requested to discuss the nature and duration of their proposed commitments with their Head, Director or Dean, as appropriate, and make the necessary arrangements.


Staff members who wish to participate in volunteer activities in a way that impacts their ability to perform their normal duties and responsibilities may apply for various leave arrangements, as outlined below, as provided for in collective agreements, handbooks and policies. In reviewing leave requests, managers must balance requests with the operational requirements of their units.

Leave arrangements

Paid vacation leave: Staff can apply for paid vacation. Most staff can carry over up to 10 days of unused vacation from the previous year (with the approval of their supervisor). Staff who are members of the CUPE 116, CUPE 2950, IUOE 115 and BCGEU (Okanagan and Vancouver) bargaining units must be granted leave on the basis of seniority.

Banked overtime hours: With the approval of their supervisor, staff can bank approved overtime hours. Such time must be taken at a mutually agreed upon time providing the time limits (as identified in collective agreements) for the duration of carry-over are observed.

Unpaid leave of absence/time off: Unpaid leave/unpaid time off can be combined with paid vacation leave and/or banked overtime hours.

Flexible work arrangements: Some collective agreements and handbooks contemplate such arrangements, including flexible work schedules, or telecommuting. Where these are permitted, we encourage supervisors to consider temporary arrangements.


If you have questions regarding a staff member’s request to volunteer during work hours, we encourage you to speak with your HR Advisor before you make any decisions.