Employers are having to walk a fine line between protecting their interests whilst also ensuring that they are not breaching their employees’ rights.
Our experienced team of solicitors offer support and advice on all aspects of organisational management of volunteers and the legal relationship between organisations and volunteers.
Many organisations rely on the help of volunteers to run and while it may seem that there is no legal relationship, it is often not that simple. At Anthony Collins Solicitors we work with organisations to advise them on all aspects of organisational management of volunteers.
While volunteers will not have a contract of employment, it is important that volunteer arrangements are in place to ensure that the relationship and expectations are defined and recorded and a clear instruction is drawn between volunteer and employees. There are circumstances where the line between being a volunteer and an employee can be easily crossed. Volunteers are often reimbursed for expenses and are provided with training to enable them to fulfill 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.
It is when these lines are crossed that organisations can be vulnerable to claims from volunteers. It is imperative that organisations safeguard themselves in relation to organisational management of volunteers to prevent claims arising.
Our volunteer management service
At Anthony Collins Solicitors we have extensive experience of working within the voluntary sector. We use this sector knowledge and our experience to work in partnership with our clients to ensure they are aware of their legal expectations 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.
- Procedures for ensuring appropriate disclosure and barring service (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 volunteer managment team is well-placed to advise on volunteer issues as many have personal experience of volunteering and are trustees of organisations that regularly work with volunteers.
Our solicitors are passionate about delivering expert support to your organisation to achieve a successful resolution to your people issues. Our advice is practical, clear and we work with our clients to guide them through every step of the process. Our experienced teams have extensive sector knowledge and experience to assist organisations through periods of uncertainty, change and difficulty.
If you would like further information about managing volunteers or how our employment law team can help you, please get in touch.
Provisions within the Housing and Planning Act that remove the need for housing associations (“HAs”) to obtain consent from the Regulator to dispose of social housing (as well as to merge or enter new group structures) come into force on 6 April.
Such freedoms will allow HAs greater flexibility over how they use their assets and, potentially, how they structure their businesses. Our expert panel gathered to discuss the possible opportunities the deregulatory measures offer, together with the likely hurdles. Read the outcome of their discussion here.
Advisor on all aspects of HR and employment law.
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