Volunteer Services

Table of Contents

The University provides full benefits-eligible employees up to eight hours of paid time off each calendar year for volunteer activity that meets certain qualifying conditions.

UPDATE: Oct. 17, 2023

The Paid Time Off for Volunteer Services Policy was adopted. Learn more in the Paid Time Off for Volunteer Services Policy.


Employees are granted a balance of paid time for volunteer service based on the following criteria.


Employees must be scheduled to work 20 hours per week (.50 FTE) or greater in a position that is expected to continue for six months or more.

Available paid time for volunteer service is prorated if working less than 1.0 FTE.


For eligible employees, the balance of paid time off for volunteer service is granted upon hire. It does not need to be accrued and there is no waiting period before you can use the time.

How Paid Time for Volunteer Service Works

Use of paid time for volunteer service is optional.

Policy Details

  • No overtime credit – Paid time for volunteer services is not considered time worked for purposes of overtime or compensatory time.
  • Resets annually – Your balance of paid time for volunteer service resets each year on Jan. 1 and does not carry over from year to year.
  • No separation payout – Unused paid time for volunteer service is not paid upon separation from the University. 



  1. Employees must request and receive prior written approval from their supervisor (e.g., via email) before using paid time off for volunteer service. (Note: The nature or mission of the chosen organization cannot be considered in the supervisor’s decision.)
  2. Employees must report the volunteer time in UAccess (More information in the "Entering Into UAccess" section).


From the UAccess Employee Main Homepage, select the Time tile (NetID login required) and then the Enter Time tile to add your hours using the appropriate time reporting code:

  • VLE – Volunteer Leave – Exception (Salary)
  • VLP – Volunteer Leave – Positive (Hourly)
screenshot of the inverted caret

Must enter a comment
Use the inverted caret next to the date to add a comment indicating the name of the organization you volunteered for and the service you provided.

Eligible Volunteer Services

To be eligible for paid time, the volunteer activity must meet certain conditions and be for a qualifying organization.


Benefit the broader community, and not exclusively benefit a members-only group (such as a mutual aid society) or religious congregation.

Take place during hours when the employee is regularly scheduled to work. Employees will not be compensated for volunteer activities they perform on their own time.


Nonprofit means a group organized for purposes other than generating profit and in which no part of the organization’s income is distributed to its members, directors or officers.

Nonpartisan local, state, or federal government agency means the organization may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities nor participate in any campaign activity for political candidates, groups or issues. Employees must abide by the Political Activity and Lobbying Policy.

501(c)(3) (e.g., charitable organizations) means organizations that are operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, educational, literary, testing for public safety or other specified purposes and are tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Note: The granting of paid time off for volunteering does not constitute University endorsement or sanction of the volunteer activity. Employees who participate in outside volunteer activities must abide by the Conflicts of Interest and Commitment Policy.

Frequently Asked Questions

It depends. Paid time off for volunteering cannot be used for serving as a worship leader, proselytizing or raising funds for religious activities.

Paid time off for volunteering may, however, be taken for charitable activities occurring under the auspices of a religious organization (e.g., a synagogue serving homeless people, or a church group participating in a Habitat for Humanity build).

Yes, paid time off for volunteering may be used for this purpose.

Yes, paid time off for volunteering may be used for this purpose if:

  • The volunteer activity being performed is not a requirement or duty of your University employment, and
  • The volunteer activity occurs when you are regularly scheduled to work.  (Note: If/when paid University release is offered, you would not be considered regularly scheduled for work).

Arizona State Statute (A.R.S.) section 15-1633 prohibits the use of any University resources “for the purpose of influencing the outcomes of elections or to advocate support for or opposition to pending or proposed legislation.”

Review Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) Policy 6-905 for permitted activities.

If the activity meets the disclosure requirements of the Conflicts of Interest and Commitment Policy, disclosing the activity is required.

Guidance and assistance:

In most cases, yes, you can use paid time off for volunteering. However, each grant has guidelines on how the award may be used. Contact Sponsored Projects Services for assistance.

Paid Time Off for Volunteer Services Policy

Do you need more assistance? 

Connect with HR Solutions
Phone: 520-621-3660
Email: hrsolutions@arizona.edu