Volunteer Agreement

*Updated for GDPR*

This document is for when you want to take on a volunteer, who does work for you but is not paid. You don’t want to create a legally binding relationship with the volunteer, which could give them rights as a worker or employee entitled to be paid the national minimum wage, to get paid holiday and even protection from unfair dismissal. Therefore, volunteer agreements use terms such as hopes and expectations, rather than the volunteer having to do anything. However, it is useful to set out in writing the understanding between you and the volunteer at the beginning of the arrangement. Just because you have a written agreement with a volunteer doesn’t mean there is an employment relationship, but you should review the relationship regularly to make sure that things have not changed with time. See our Step by Step walkthrough for full guidance notes to help you complete this document on your own.

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Step-by-step guide

Let’s walk you through how to go about drafting a Volunteer Agreement, something you need if you take on volunteers. A volunteer is not intended to be a worker or an employee, and does not get paid for the work that they do. You can cover their actual expenses only.

Follow these simple steps to put your agreement into writing and ensure that you are adequately protected.

First thing’s first, enter the relevant details of your business and the volunteer…

1. This sets out how much time you are hoping that the volunteer will give you, but it must be flexible and the volunteer does not have to work these hours…

2. You should give the volunteer any training they need but it must relate to the volunteer role that they are doing…

3. Tell the volunteer who to contact if they have concerns or issues about their role…

4. You can pay the volunteer for their out of out-of-pocket expenses only. These must be as a result of the volunteer role and the volunteer must provide receipts. If you make payments over and above the volunteer’s actual expenses, this may be considered as pay and suggest that the volunteer is in fact a worker or employee…

5. The volunteer should be covered by your normal public or employer’s liability insurance…

6. You can include a section about confidentiality – make it clear what is expected in relation to confidential information…

Also volunteers have rights to know what you are going to do with information that you have about them. Make sure you tell them and get their consent to do those things.

7. You should explain what the volunteer should do with your property when they stop volunteering for you…

8. Almost done now. You should ask them to give you as much notice as possible when they stop volunteering but there is no obligation on them to…

9. And this is where you get the option to try out fantastic e-signing feature at no extra charge and get the agreement signed in minutes…

Remember, if you come unstuck at any point, our LawBriefs are here to help. Visit our legal advice page to submit an online enquiry or call us on 020 7148 1066.

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Document drafted by:

Louise Paull LawBrief

Louise Paull is an experienced employment lawyer providing clients with commercial, practical advice on a full range of employment-related matters.

She advises on contentious and non-contentious matters working with employers on the legal issues arising in relation to the recruitment, day-to-day employment and dismissal of staff, including drafting contracts of employment, staff handbooks and policies, cultural and family-friendly issues, equal opportunities, diversity and discrimination matters, sensitive issues around the termination of employment, including disciplinary, conduct and capability issues, negotiating severance packages and settlement agreements, collective and individual redundancies, unfair dismissal, breach of contract, business transfers and TUPE issues.

Louise qualified in 1999 with City firm King and Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin as an employment associate and most recently worked for Berwin Leighton Paisner in its employment team. She spent time on secondment with IMG, a major international sport and artist management business, as its sole in-house employment lawyer, and has worked for BT in its in-house legal team.

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