Volunteers – Employment Law
Employers need to exercise caution when using unpaid volunteers as if they are not careful, volunteers can assume employment rights. Rix & Kay are very experienced in advising clients on the use of volunteers and can assist clients in preparing volunteer agreements and in giving training in the use of volunteers. If a volunteer is treated like an employee, they might well become an employee with all the relevant appropriate employment rights by default. It is therefore essential to ensure that they are not treated like employees and that if they receive any payment these are only for certain limited expenses. Whilst making a volunteer subject to disciplinary and grievance procedures might tip the balance in favour of their being employees. This does not mean that you cannot control volunteers’ behaviour when they are engaged by you.