Staff wellbeing in the Not for Profit sector
Posted on: October 4th 2023 · read
Charities are being urged to pay attention to the wellbeing of their staff, following the issuing of a report which details a reduction in the number of days of annual leave taken by those working in the sector.
Access PeopleHR, a cloud-based HR platform, recently released their Annual Leave Report 2023: The state of annual leave in the UK by industry. The Report details that the number of annual leave days taken by charity workers has dropped by 4% in the last two years, from an average of 43.2 to 41.5 per year. This is despite that the average holiday entitlement having grown by 11%, from 37.2 days to 41.4 days.
Laura Millar, head of HR at Charity Finance Group (CFG), has cited possible reasons for the reduction, including:
- The ongoing impact of the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis has increased demand for services whilst also reducing income available to many charities, requiring charities to ‘do more with less’
- Difficulties recruiting staff and volunteers putting additional pressure of charity staff
- Annual leave no longer being the go-to way of taking time off, as a result of more flexible ways of working such as remote and hybrid working
With the importance of wellbeing more prominent than ever before, it is important that charities take steps to encourage their staff to book time off without having to justify it; charities should understand the reasons why staff are hesitant to take annual leave and take measures to ensure this does not become an ongoing issue.
The financial wellbeing of staff working in the not for profit sector is also of growing significance, and in some extreme cases is resulting in staff going on strike. St Mungo’s staff went on strike earlier in 2023, but more recently staff at the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) have gone on strike after disputes regarding pay. An RSA union representative reported that exploitation of workers is ‘all too common’, part of a wider struggle of low pay, overwork and temporary insecure contracts in the sector. Striking staff at RSA are demanding a flat pay rise of £2,800 for all staff members; RSA have pledged to continue discussions in line with its fiduciary responsibilities and with staff wellbeing front and centre.