When thinking for the first time about involving volunteers or expanding how you work with volunteers, legal issues are often the things that worry people the most.
As a legal entity, be it a registered charity or a community group, you have a duty of care to ensure that people working and volunteering for your organisation are safe. It is also important that you have adequate insurance to cover your volunteer activities so that if there is an accident you won’t go bankrupt if the volunteer or their family sues you.
Most situations where voluntary organisations have had trouble with legal issues and volunteering, have revolved around the confusion between volunteering, paid workers and employees. Confusion has arisen whereby volunteers have been asked to comply or do things that are associated with paid positions, e.g. sign a contract, work or have a job description or been given financial lump sums.
Here are some fact-sheets and templates to help with involving volunteers: