The Coronavirus Act 2020 provides a new statutory right to take unpaid emergency volunteering leave (EVL).

This leave provides employees with time off to assist an “appropriate authority” in the health or social care sector, for example, the NHS or their local council.

In order to exercise their right to EVL, an employee first needs to obtain an emergency volunteering certificate from the appropriate authority.

EVL can only be taken in blocks of two, three or four consecutive weeks and to date, the leave can only be taken up to the 16th July 2020.

This may well be extended.

Employees must give you written notice of EVL no later than three working days before it’s due to commence and unless you employ fewer than 10 employees, you must agree to the request.

Terms and conditions care protected during EVL.

EVL is unpaid but similarly to jury service, employees can claim compensation from the government for loss of earnings, travelling and subsistence.

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