Welcome to this quarter's company secretary update, where we explore the key developments and highlights for company secretaries.
Our specialist team of solicitors can offer support and advice to social businesses on all aspects of organisational management of volunteers and the legal relationship between organisations and volunteers.
Many social businesses rely on the support of volunteers and while it may seem that there is no legal relationship, it is often not that simple. At Anthony Collins Solicitors we work with social businesses to advise them on all aspects of organisational management of volunteers.
Volunteers will not have a contract of employment, which is why it is imperative the volunteer arrangements are in place to make sure the relationship and expectations are defined and recorded. A volunteer arrangement should also ensure a clear instruction is drawn between volunteers and employees.
There are certain circumstances where the line between being a volunteer and an employee can be easily crossed, such as:
- Volunteers are often reimbursed for expenses and are provided with training to enable them to fulfil their volunteering duties. However, if payments to volunteers becomes regular or if non-essential training is provided, such payments and training can be interpreted as income and can potentially create a contract.
- If the demands on the volunteer are inflexible and there becomes an obligation on them to perform duties, this can indicate an employee relationship.
Allowing these lines to be crossed can leave your organisation open to claims from volunteers, which is why it is imperative that you safeguard yourself in relation to organisational management of volunteers and ensure you have volunteer agreements in place to record and define the relationship.
Our volunteer management
We have extensive experience of working within the social business and voluntary sectors and use this sector knowledge and our experience to work in partnership with you to ensure you are aware of your legal obligations toward volunteers and can advise on all aspects of organisational management of volunteers, including:
- Drafting and implementing volunteer arrangements to clearly outline the relationship between the organisation and the volunteer.
- Volunteer health and safety requirements; ensuring risk assessments are undertaken and that volunteers are aware of the organisation's health and safety policies and procedures.
- Advising on procedures for ensuring appropriate DBS checks are undertaken for volunteers’ working with vulnerable adults or children.
- Drafting and implementing volunteer policies and procedures.
- Drafting and implementing policies and procedures dealing with volunteers liabilities for their actions and how volunteer grievances are dealt with.
Our experienced organisational management of volunteers team are well placed to advise on volunteer issues as many have personal experience of volunteering and are trustees of organisations which regularly work with volunteers.
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