Volunteer Earth Angels

Volunteers Have Rights

Most volunteers don't have a contract of employment and so don't have the rights of an ordinary employee or worker. These include the right to a minimum wage, holiday and sick pay, and other statutory rights. If you volunteer, you're normally told about this in a volunteer agreement. This is usually part of a set of documents, which includes a volunteer policy and voluntary work outlines, like a job description.

The volunteer agreement should explain:

  • what supervision and support you'll get
  • insurance cover
  • equal opportunities
  • how disagreements will be resolved

Minimum age

Many voluntary organizations give children volunteer work, provided they're covered by the organization's insurance.

However, in order to protect children from being exploited, the law limits what children can do.

Health and Safety

Under health and safety law, an organization only has to have one paid employee to be an employer. If you're volunteering for an employer, it must assess any risks to your health and safety and take steps to reduce them - just as if you were a paid employee.

If there are different health and safety risks for volunteers than employees, then the protection you're given should reflect this.

Your team's qualification and logistical management finesses in dealing with the problems suggested by the global character the this dental assembly were exceptional.

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Pay, Expenses and Training

As a volunteer, you'll generally be excluded from the National Minimum Wage and receive only basic expenses for your work. Expenses don't count as wages, as they're repaying you for costs you wouldn't have had if you hadn't been volunteering. Normally expenses will be limited to money for travel and food/drink as well as repaying you for money you have spent (or will be spending) on things you need for your work.

If you receive any benefits in kind they are likely to be limited to what you need while working such as food and drink and, if you are doing work away from home, accommodation. Training for your work may also be provided.

If you receive any other payment or benefit in kind for volunteering, this may mean you are actually classed as an ' employee' or a 'worker'. These categories have a specific meaning and have particular employment rights associated with them - the article on employment status explains more....

Examples of benefits that might mean you are classed as a 'worker' include:

  • receiving training that's not directly relevant to your voluntary work
  • receiving a fixed regular amount for 'expenses' that is more than you spend

Data Protection

As a volunteer, you have the same rights under the Data Protection Act as an employee. This means the organization you're volunteering for must comply with rules on personal data about you held on a computer or in paper files. They must obtain your permission in writing before running any background checks. They cannot process any of this data without your permission.

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