Essential information for all organisations
All organisations that recruit volunteers should have the following policies in place:
- Code of Practice for involving Volunteers
- Health & Safety
- Equal Opportunities
- Volunteering Policy
- Problems and Grievances / Guidance and Support
CODE OF PRACTICE FOR INVOLVING VOLUNTEERS
Organisations that depend on the work of volunteers have responsibilities towards them. A code of practice should be developed to make sure that everyone who works with volunteers do so within a framework of good practice.
HEALTH & SAFETY
Every organisation should have a Health & Safety Policy in place. It should state the responsibilities of the organisation, the paid staff and the volunteers. All organisations have a legal duty to make sure that all paid staff and volunteers are safe at work.
All organisations have a responsibility to promote equal opportunities and to prevent discrimination.
A volunteering policy should be drawn up by all organisations recruiting volunteers in order to set out clear guidelines for individuals who volunteer within an organisation.
When individuals volunteer, it should not cost them anything. Organisations should encourage their volunteers to take up expenses and request they keep receipts of expenditure. Reimbursable expenses include:
- Child care costs or replacement care costs
- Meal costs during volunteering
- Telephone & postage costs (if working from home)
- Costs of equipment/materials fees.
It’s important to make volunteers aware of what can be claimed before they start volunteering.
It’s important that you ensure that volunteers who work for the organisations are covered by your insurance policy.
It’s important that all organisations give volunteers the appropriate training to enable them to carry out the role.
PROBLEMS AND GRIEVANCES / GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT
Support and guidance should be the same for both volunteers and paid staff. However, it should be adapted to the volunteers level of involvement and needs. Every organisation should appoint one individual to be responsible for volunteers, so that they know who to go to if they are experiencing any problems or have any queries.