Ed Davey: Bring back volunteering scheme

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Lib Dems are asking the Government to introduce an Emergency Volunteering Leave scheme – urgently. This would allow volunteers to take time off work, but still be paid, to help with the booster vaccinations over the holiday season.

Last week the NHS said it needs 40,000 volunteers for roles such as admin support and stewards, while vaccination centres say they are desperate for staff. Meanwhile, the British Medical Association has warned there could be up to 50,000 staff absences in the NHS by Christmas.

We also know that there are plenty of people willing to volunteer. We need to put the two together.

The scheme would allow people to take between two and four weeks on unpaid leave, and the Government would compensate them for expenses and loss of earnings.

Ed Davey says:

We are in the race of our lives to get people jabbed and turn the tide against Omicron, while the NHS is facing catastrophic staffing shortages.

It is baffling that the Government decided to scrap these plans that could have helped speed up the booster rollout.

There is no time to waste. Boris Johnson must bring back Parliament and introduce an Emergency Volunteering Leave scheme.

This would help people play their part in the booster rollout and take pressure off the NHS at this critical time.

He is calling for the Government to recall a virtual Parliament to introduce legislation allowing Emergency Volunteering Leave. The law that would have enabled this was scrapped last July in a baffling move, hence the new for new legislation.

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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One Comment

  • Jason Connor 23rd Dec '21 - 8:12pm

    So would this volunteering scheme be delivered by local authorities as is still the case in my area or by Mutual Aid support groups? Perhaps it would be best to build on existing practice than re-invent the wheel but with add on of providing the extra funding needed.

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