SES Volunteer's Association of Western Australia Incorporated

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Employers Guide to employing Emergency Service Volunteers

To the Employer…

First and foremost it is your decision, as the employer, to permit (or not) an employee to leave work to attend an emergency. That said employers of emergency services volunteers play a vital role in their communities.

Because without their support, it would be difficult for volunteers to attend emergencies during work hours. It can be difficult to initiate the discussion between employee and employer about such releases from work. This can increase stress and affect what may normally be a positive working environment. To reduce stress and confusion it is recommended that you ‘have the conversation’ – discuss the employee’s volunteer role, likely need for release and identify any issues. The aim of this resource is to help employers and employees have this dialogue in lieu of developing a pre-arranged agreement as to how and when emergency services volunteering will work for them.

Everyone benefits from employer supported emergency services volunteering because it may reduce the cost of damage caused by fire and other emergencies by saving lives, communities and the environment. Some communities depend solely on volunteer emergency response so it is important that workplace arrangements are established. Volunteering also plays an important role within the community by increasing local prevention, preparedness, response and recovery capability. Your emergency service volunteers help to make your community safer and more resilient.

A community where volunteers freely give their time is one where people, life styles and businesses thrive due to a higher level of community hazard risk awareness and ability to respond to a local emergency
quickly, or, support emergency response further afield (which may be reciprocated one day)

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