Answers!

  1. Is this ethical?
  2. How do I know if this breaches terms or restrictions of my employment contract?
  3. What businesses are involved in this project?
  4. Why would anyone volunteer?
  5. How many hours do I have to offer?
  6. How long do the opportunities run for?
  7. How do I know my skill set is of use?
  8. When will I get a response?
  9. I want to volunteer but can’t see a suitable opportunity?
  10. Are any of these opportunities likely to turn into actual jobs?
  11. Are the opportunities replacing the work of furloughed employees?
  12. How do I volunteer?
  13. Can I register an opportunity for my business?
  14. I know staff who have been furloughed/made redundant. How can I get them involved in this scheme?
  15. How will I be managed whilst volunteering?
  16. Is this a “for profit” or commercial venture and why are we charging companies at all?
  17. Why is the project running up to the end of September 2020?
  18. Who can volunteer?
  19. What are the government guidelines around furloughed staff volunteering?
  20. Other links worth reading

Don’t Get Answer?

If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to ask by either filling the contact us form or emailing us direct. 

1. Is this ethical?

We’re not forcing anyone to do anything they don’t want to. This is a project in which furloughed (or out of work) individuals can volunteer to work with an interesting tech start-up.

The idea here is to keep volunteers mentally active and challenged whilst they are legally not allowed to undertake work for their current employer.

Mental health and well-being is a key concern in the industry during this time – this project offers a different way in which people can volunteer their time and stay mentally stimulated and challenged.

2. How do I know if this breaches terms or restrictions of my employment contract?

We would encourage any volunteers to check with their current employer that the work they volunteer to undertake does not form any breach of their employment contract.

We are working with companies from a whole host of different sectors and if you can’t work with a company in one sector, we’ll help you find a company you can work with.

3. What businesses are involved in this project?

The main businesses involved in this project are members of the Techcelerate network.

They are owner managed Technology Product Companies looking to accelerate their growth and eventually reach an Exit. Some Tech Partner and Specialist businesses are also involved in this initiative.

We have a range of tech businesses including FinTech, HealthTech, EdTech, SaaS businesses and many more who could certainly use the skills of furloughed staff in these challenging times.

4. Why would anyone volunteer?

Let’s be honest, this isn’t going to be everyone’s idea of how to spend their time whilst furloughed! However, one of the best things about this crazy world we live in, is that all people are different.

  • People might volunteer as they’re looking for a challenge or maybe want to enhance their skills and experience in a certain area.
  • People might want to help a start-up tech business during these tough times.
  • People might just want the mental stimulation of a project whilst they legally can’t undertake work for their employer.
  • People might be worried about the possibility of redundancy post-furlough and want to have something extra to add to their CV.

5. How many hours do I have to offer?

This is totally up to you. As this is a voluntary scheme there really is not a set number of hours you need to offer. Each opportunity will vary in terms of the hours needed to bring it to a conclusion but we welcome any help, even if just to discuss some ideas we might pick up with other volunteers.

You’re welcome to get involved with an opportunity at any stage and exit at any stage as well. Anything you offer is appreciated and we’re sure you’ll find reward in what you offer.

6. How long do the opportunities run for?

This really does vary project to project but how long you get involved for is totally up to you. Some projects are short and can be completed in hours or days. Others will take weeks, months and some will not meet a natural conclusion.

Whatever you’re prepared to offer in terms of voluntary hours, days or weeks will be appreciated and give invaluable experience for you!

7. How do I know if my skill set is of use?

Apply and we’ll let you know. As start-up tech businesses, the good thing is that we need help in all sorts of areas – some not even listed on our site!

If you have skills and time you’re willing to volunteer, please register. Your details will then be shared with our businesses and someone will be in touch to discuss ideas and opportunities (even those not listed).

8. When will I get a response?

We aim to respond within 2 working days of your application being received. This will allow time for the business(es) involved to review your details and arrange a response.

This may be via email or telephone so please remember to check your junk folder in case we’ve accidentally slipped into there.

If for any reason you don’t receive a timely response, please use the contact form to let us know and someone will get back to you.

9. I want to volunteer but can’t see a suitable opportunity?

Register and create a profile anyway. As start-up tech businesses, the good thing is that we need help in all sorts of areas – some not even listed on our site!

If you have skills and time you’re willing to volunteer, please register. Your details will then be shared with our businesses and someone will be in touch to discuss ideas and opportunities (even those not listed).

10. Are any of these opportunities likely to turn into actual jobs?

Some yes and some no. There are certain opportunities on this site that will definitely become real employment opportunities long term and others that certainly won’t.

The thing here is about helping our ambitious tech businesses accelerate their growth. If you can prove yourself invaluable, you never know what might happen!

11. Are the opportunities replacing the work of furloughed employees?

No. We are certainly not replacing any furloughed staff with volunteers! Opportunities listed here are either new or being worked on by existing (non-furloughed) staff.

12. How do I volunteer?

Simply register on the site to create a profile and upload your details. A CV/Resume will help but it’s not essential. If you’re interested in a specific opportunity, you can make an application by clicking through on the opportunity and clicking the “Apply Now” button.

13. Can I register an opportunity for my business?

To register an opportunity for your business, register on the site as an employer (Tech Company) and we will get in touch to discuss your opportunity and if it’s right to be featured on our site.

14. I know staff who have been furloughed / made redundant. How can I get them involved in this scheme?

Please just share the link for our site – https://furloughed.life/.

We want to give experience to and help as many furloughed/redundant staff during this time as possible.

If you’re an Owner/Director of a business with furloughed staff and want to see how we can help you further, please drop us a message on the contact section of this site.

15. How will I be managed whilst volunteering?

The Director / Owner of the business with the relevant opportunity will liaise with you during the project.

As this is a voluntary role, there are no repercussions of not hitting a project milestone or KPI – so don’t worry, you can’t get in trouble!

This is about amazing volunteers helping amazing start-up tech businesses. We’re all adults and you’ll certainly be treated like one!

16. Is this a “for profit” or commercial venture and why are we charging companies at all?

No. This has not been set up as a for profit or commercial venture.

This has been set up to connect any furloughed staff who can see benefit in volunteering to help with real and live opportunities with tech start ups who are facing tough economic times.

We wanted to make some sort of contribution to NHS charities through what we were doing and looked at how that might be possible.

We felt that a small contribution from companies (who wanted to post opportunities) outside the founding network would be a way to enable this. We set a fee of £25 for self-funded start-ups and £100 for funded start-ups. It was set out that all profits would be donated to NHS charities.

17. Why is the project running up to the end of September 2020?

As it stands, the government job retention scheme is in place up to the end of June.

It is expected that from the millions who have been furloughed, millions will still be made redundant.

In order to fully support the volunteers engaged in opportunities, we have committed to a fixed term to support them through Furloughed Life up to the end of September in using the experience gained to find new employment opportunities.

18. Who can volunteer?

The focus of this project are the many millions who have been furloughed.

It was thoughts of helping that group that the whole concept came about and it is the furloughed who remain our focus.

If others however believe they can gain benefit and value from volunteering for the opportunities, then there are no restrictions in registering.

We would again just ask volunteers to ensure they are not in breach of any employment contract they have in place.

19. What are the government guidelines around furloughed staff volunteering?

Check if you can claim for your employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Opportunity Retention Scheme

As of 27th April 2020 (12:52 pm), extract from above:

“A furloughed employee can take part in volunteer work, if it does not provide services to or generate revenue for, or on behalf of your organisation or a linked or associated organisation. Your organisation can agree to find furloughed employees new work or volunteering opportunities whilst on furlough if this is in line with public health guidance.”

20. Other links worth reading