One of the most frequently reported problems, mainly by entities from the SME sector, accounting for 99.8% of enterprises in Poland , was the lack of clarity in the legal and tax aspects of organizing employee volunteering programs. Employers paid particular attention to:
- lack of clear rules and formal means of delegating employees to volunteer work,
- lack of clarity as to the scope of the employer’s responsibility for the employees during their voluntary activities,
- lack of clarity as to the deductibility of costs incurred by the employer when organizing volunteer work.
In response to the above, in a group of excellent partners and experts, we created a practical document – a guide to employee volunteering. You may download it, free of charge, by filling out the form below. To change the site language, click on the flag below:
DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE
Employee volunteering consists in initiating or supporting the social activity of employees by their employer. Employee volunteers conduct various types of social activities voluntarily and free of charge, for the recipients, e.g. non-governmental organizations or other entities and institutions conducting social activity. Why is it worth it? Because it is a response to the clear expectations of employees – 4 out of 10 would like to be able to engage in employee volunteering for 2-3 hours a month (3-4 days a year). In order to talk about employee volunteering, the employer’s support should cover at least one of the following areas:
- Other resources
CONTENT OF THE GUIDE
- Should an employee be formally provided with an opportunity to participate in an employee volunteering program?
- How do I formally give an employee the opportunity to participate in employee volunteering?
- How can I enable my employee to engage in employee volunteering in their time off?
- Are there any limits on additional leave? Paid leave in particular.
- I gave an employee time off for employee volunteering. Am I responsible for them during this time?
- I gave an employee time off for employee volunteering. Do I need to control the time spent volunteering?
- Is it possible to temporarily assign another job to an employee for employee volunteering purposes?
- As an employer, do I have the right to decline a request of an employee who wishes to participate in voluntary work during working time?
- Do costs incurred directly by an employer to finance employee volunteering constitute a tax deductible expense?
- If volunteering employees pay for equipment with their own money, can I reimburse them? How to do it formally?
- Are the costs incurred by volunteering employees to finance activities related to employee volunteering tax deductible?
- Should accounting documents (invoices, receipts, etc.) regarding purchases made by volunteering employees for funds received from the employer be issued to the employer or to the volunteer? What are the consequences for the employer?
- Am I obliged to sign an agreement with the recipient for which the volunteering activities carried out by my employees are provided?
- What conditions must be met by the recipient under the Polish law?
- Who is responsible for the employee during volunteer work: is it me as the employer or the recipient?
- Do I have any obligations towards beneficiaries for whom assistance is provided?
- Can an employee refuse to participate in volunteering? What if one out of 50 employees refuses to participate in a large-scale event which, for example, means the whole plant is closed?
- If the recipient is our corporate foundation, should we act differently than in the case of other recipients?
- How do I enable an employee to participate in employee volunteering if the recipient is a corporate foundation?
- Who is responsible for the employee during volunteer work: the company or the corporate foundation?
- Should I additionally insure volunteering employees, for example against civil liability?
- Can I deduct the cost of such insurance?
- Is the recipient, with whom my company cooperates in organizing voluntary work, obliged to provide insurance for my volunteering employees? If so, what kind of insurance?
- Who is responsible for potential damages caused by volunteers?
- What if a volunteering employee has an accident while volunteering?
- What if a volunteering employee has an accident on the way to volunteering?
- Are volunteering employees entitled to a daily allowance like employees on business trips?
- Are volunteering employees entitled to reimbursement of travel expenses?
- If I want to reimburse volunteering employees for travel or food expenses, how/why can I do this?
- Are volunteering employees eligible for additional benefits?
- Does the employer have the right to use volunteering for image building purposes?
- If so, under what conditions?
- As an employer, am I obliged to create and adopt a volunteer policy?
- What should such documents contain?
- Am I required to employ or formally appoint a person responsible for volunteering? If so, what are the formal requirements?
- As an employer, am I obliged to sign an agreement with an employee who joins an employee volunteering program?
- As an employer, am I required to sign an agreement with a volunteering employee who receives volunteer co-financing from me?
- As an employer, am I required to sign an agreement with the organization benefiting from the support provided by volunteers?
- Am I legally obliged to record data and report on volunteering activities in annual reports?
- What is social impact and are there any applicable reporting standards?
Selection of experts and content-related coordination: Anna Korzeniewska (Social Impact Alliance for Central & Eastern Europe)
Magda Słomska, attorney
Dentons Europe Dąbrowski i Wspólnicy sp. k.
Attorney at law, counsel at the Warsaw office of Dentons, member of the Labor Law Team. Specialist in labor and civil law. In the field of labor law, she participates in the preparation of employee documentation, due diligence analyses, and legal opinions. She advises clients in local and cross-border transactions involving workplace transfer to another employer. Specialist in the termination of employment contracts, prepares employment termination documents, and conducts meetings with employees. Madga also handles employment litigation and advises on employment matters in mergers, divisions, and company transformations. She advises Polish and foreign companies in the process of drafting corporate documentation as well as assessing and drawing up civil contracts.
Dentons Europe Dąbrowski i Wspólnicy sp. k.
Lawyer. Tax advisor. Senior associate at the Dentons office in Warsaw, member of the Tax Law team. Specialist in corporate income tax, value added tax, tax on civil law transactions, and real estate tax advisory.Damian participated in numerous tax planning and structuring projects, with particular emphasis on mergers and acquisitions as well as real estate transactions. His experience includes comprehensive legal and tax consultancy for domestic and international entities, including from the financial and real estate sectors. He has also supported clients in contacts with tax and administrative authorities during tax inspections and disputes as well as court proceedings.
Citi Handlowy Foundation
Associated with the Citi Handlowy Foundation for almost 10 years, previously associated with the Citi Handlowy bank and the Deloitte consulting company. Today Paulina is responsible for program activities at the Foundation
and managing project teams. From the beginning of her work at the Foundation, she has been involved in the development of one of the largest Employee Volunteering Programs in Poland. Today it is over 3,000 active volunteers and several hundred volunteer projects a year. As the Board Representative, she provides legal services to the organization and consults legal solutions in the field of cooperation with partners and volunteers of the organization. She explores, visits, and tests various areas of social activity. Graduate of the Faculty of Law and Administration at the University of Warsaw.
Responsible Business Forum
Expert in the field of volunteering, including employee volunteering, at the Responsible Business Forum (RBF). Project manager, trainer, website administrator, producer of live broadcasts on social media. Animator of a group of coordinators of employee volunteering for RBF partner companies. On behalf of the FOB, he participates in the work of the Industry Social Dialogue Committee for Supporting Organizations at the Warsaw City Council, where, among others, he evaluates applications submitted under open tenders. Professionally involved with the third sector since 2004. Karol has worked for over 10 years with Volunteer Centers in Kielce, Warsaw, and Gdańsk, and as a freelancer with various other social initiatives. Graduate of the School for Leaders of Non-Governmental Organizations (School for Leaders Foundation, 2007), School of Watchdog Initiatives (SLLGO – currently Citizens Network Watchdog Poland, 2008).
Better. / B Corp
Sustainable development expert with 15 years of experience. Specialist in topics related to corporate social involvement as well as diversity and inclusion. Associated with Better, where she is responsible, among others, for the development of the Polish Diversity Chamber of Commerce, conducts social dialogues and implements consulting projects in the area of employee volunteering (audits, training, and strategic planning of programs). Divercity+ expert. Previously, manager of the Responsible Business Forum, Go Responsible, and the Citi Handlowy Leopold Kronenberg Foundation. For over 6 years she managed a team implementing the Employee Volunteering Program at Citi – one of the first and largest of its kind in Poland. Juror in grant competitions for social projects. Author and editor of publications in the field of employee volunteering and diversity & inclusion. Present on the List of 50 Polish Women of CSR published by the Responsible Business Forum. Certified business trainer.
Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland
Social politician associated with the community of non-governmental organizations, expert on social programs of the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland. For years he has been working for the development
of cooperation between business and non-governmental organizations, providing training and consulting support for NGOs and entrepreneurs in the field of their social involvement, also in the form of employee volunteering. Author of research, analyses, and publications on cooperation between business and the civic sector.
Member of the Management Board of CMT Advisory. PhD in finance, professor at the Poznań University of Economics and Business. Former head of the Department of Investments and Capital Markets at the Poznań University
of Economics and Business. Specialist in capital markets, private market mergers and acquisitions, corporate financial strategies, and owner supervision. Conducts numerous projects on the financing and restructuring of enterprises. Tax advisor no. 12526. Chairman of the Program Council of the Family Business Institute. Author of many scientific publications in the field of corporate finance. Maciej gained his experience in banking, consulting companies, and private equity funds. Member of supervisory boards in several companies. For many years he was also associated with the Eteron Capital Group as the President and Member of the Management Boards of its companies. Manager and participant of projects of the State Committee for Scientific Research, incl. in the field of financial innovation and corporate financing strategies. Manager of the “Financial innovations in creating enterprise value” project of the Ministry of Science and Information Technology. Participant of the “Strategy of shaping fixed capital as a tool for increasing the value of an enterprise” project of the Ministry of Science and Information Technology.
Family Business Institute
Manager at the Family Business Institute. Responsible for the coordination of works, relations with sponsors, as well as contact with the founders of family businesses and the young generation entering the world
of entrepreneurship. Main Coordinator of the International Family Business Congress, the Next Generation Congress, and other events organized by the Institute. In the years 2016 – 2019, Coordinator of the “FAMILY BUSINESS. Family business management” magazine, author and editor of articles, case studies, interviews with owner families, publications, and reports. Today, she is responsible for the budget and finances of the Family Business Institute, coordinates the work of the team, supports strategic work for top clients – both large and from the SME sector.
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