Code of practice

Enhance volunteer experiences & comply with legislation & duty of care

Typography

An organisation which involves volunteers agrees to: 

  • Interview and engage volunteer staff in accordance with anti-discrimination and equal opportunity legislation.
  • Provide volunteer staff with orientation and training.
  • Provide volunteer staff with a healthy and safe workplace.
  • Not place volunteer staff in roles that were previously held by paid staff or have been identified as paid jobs.
  • Differentiate between paid and unpaid roles.
  • Define volunteer roles, and develop clear role descriptions.
  • Provide appropriate levels of support and management for volunteer staff.
  • Provide volunteers with a copy of policies pertaining to volunteer staff.
  • Ensure volunteers are not required to take up additional work during industrial dispute or paid staff shortage.
  • Provide all staff with information on grievance and disciplinary policies and procedures.
  • Acknowledge the rights of volunteer staff.
  • Not ask a volunteer to work in a voluntary capacity for more than 16 hours per week.
  • Ensure that the work of volunteer staff complements but does not undermine the work of paid staff.
  • Offer volunteer staff the opportunity for professional development.
  • Reimburse volunteer staff for approved out-of-pocket expenses incurred on behalf of the organisation.
  • Treat volunteer staff as valuable team members, and advise them of the opportunities to participate in decisions.
  • Acknowledge the contributions of volunteer staff.
  • Ensure that all voluntary work is undertaken on a voluntary basis and without coercion.
  • Offer volunteers work opportunities appropriate to their skills, experience, and aspirations.
  • Maintain written policies and implement procedures to ensure the safety and well-being of volunteers, including maintaining appropriate current volunteer Personal Accident Insurance and Public Liability Insurance which includes volunteer workers.
  • Maintain policies and implement procedures in compliance with all legislation pertaining to volunteer workers. In particular, the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Anti-Discrimination Act 1991, Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000, and any other legislation that is relevant to volunteer workers.
  • Ensure the tasks and activities undertaken by volunteers benefit the community and that volunteers do not derive financial gain for themselves.

This code has been endorsed by Volunteering Australia.

 

Photo: Queensland Fire and Emergency Services