One key factor in the distinction between volunteers and employees is whether they have been given an agreement or a contract.
By law, charities are not required to enter into any form of agreement with volunteers. However, if you do wish to provide volunteers with an overview of their role, training, supervision, expenses, health and safety and insurance, you may wish to provide a volunteer agreement.
A volunteer agreement should be worded carefully so that it cannot be interpreted as a contract. In particular, it should explain what your expectations of the volunteer are rather than the obligations and duties you will impose on them, as the latter would imply that they are obliged to perform certain tasks or work particular hours.
Instead, you should:
- Use language that is consistent with the voluntary, informal nature of volunteering;
- Make it clear that the volunteer has the right to refuse tasks and choose when to volunteer;
- Use flexible terminology; and
- Avoiding any legal jargon.