Nearly half (44 per cent) of working Canadians between 20 and 64 years old have worked for an employer that supports their volunteering in some way or another, research from Statistics Canada found.

That support can come in a variety of ways, including paid time off, modified work schedules, permission to use the employer’s facilities or equipment, and recognition for volunteering.

Read: Which employers offer the best benefits?

But the likelihood of an employer supporting volunteerism varies widely depending on the industry. In the finance and insurance sectors, for example, 66 per cent of employers offer volunteering support, and 58 per cent of staff volunteer. In the health care and social assistance sectors, the numbers drop to 45 per cent and 43 percent, respectively. And in the construction industry, just 31 per cent of employers offer volunteerism support, though 36 per cent of employees volunteer.

Volunteering Support by Industry

Other factors linked to higher rates of volunteerism include higher levels of education, household income, and presence of preschool and school-aged children in the home. Yet even within those categories, employer support of volunteering brings up the volunteerism rate significantly.

Read: Volunteerism boosts workplace skills

For example, 55 per cent of respondents who hold a university degree volunteer, but the number jumps to 65 per cent when their employers offer some form of support, and drops to 46 per cent when they don’t.

Of the survey respondents with both preschool and school-aged children, 55 per cent volunteer. Employer support brings the rate up to 63 per cent, and lack thereof drops it to 50 per cent.

And 55 percent of respondents whose household income is in the top quintile also volunteer, and again, employer support makes a difference: 63 per cent versus 50 per cent.

Read: Employees would give up perks and pay for work-life balance

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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