How are people employed in the voluntary sector?

By work pattern

  • Voluntary organisations continue to be a destination for workers seeking part-time work, with 37% of voluntary sector employees working part-time compared to 28% of public sector and 25% of private sector employees.

Voluntary organisations have a higher proportion of part-time employees than organisations in other sectors

By contract length

  • Just over nine in ten (91%) voluntary sector employees are on permanent contracts.
  • The voluntary sector employs more people on temporary contracts than any other sector, with 9% on temporary contracts compared with 7% for the public sector and 5% for the private sector.
  • While voluntary organisations have the highest number of temporary contracts, the growth in temporary contracts between June 2010 and June 2018 was higher in both the private (24%) and public sectors (14%) than in the voluntary sector (10%).

The voluntary sector has the highest proportion of temporary contracts but has seen the lowest growth in such contracts

Temporary contracts

  • The voluntary sector is less likely to employ people through ‘temping agencies’ than the public or private sectors.
  • Most temporary workers within the voluntary sector are on a fixed-term contract. This is higher than any other type of temporary contract combined.

Most temporary employees within the voluntary sector are on a fixed-term contract

By occupation level

  • There has been little change in the breakdown of occupation level across sectors over the last eight years.
  • The voluntary sector, like the public sector, relies on lower managerial positions more than any other occupation level, with 44% of the sector workforce made up of these positions. This is comparable to the public sector (42%) but much higher than the private sector (22%).

The composition of workers in the voluntary sector is very similar to the public sector - both rely on lower managerial positions more than the private sector

More data and research