sectors

HCB Group is widely respected across the UK for its expertise in a range of niche sectors including care homes, dentists and education.

  • Nationally respected legal specialists
  • Long term experience and expert sector knowledge
  • Cultivating enduring client relationships

Charities as Employers

It may not be the first place that people think to find paid employment, but Charities in England and Wales employ a significant number of people and they are subject to all the same employment laws with which other companies and organisations have to comply.

Although there are some peculiarites to the Charity Sector, if you are a charity or employee of a charity seeking to clarify your position, please refer to our Employment pages.

Volunteers

Whilst there is no single statutory definition of “volunteer” this definition is generally accepted: “a person engaged in an activity which involves spending time, unpaid (except for travel and other out of pocket expenses), doing something which aims to benefit some third party other than or in addition to a close relative”

Whether an individual is a ‘volunteer’ is important as they may be entitled to certain statutory employment rights if you treat them more like an employee. The legal status of volunteers and interns is not clear cut and it is this ambiguity which makes it difficult for organisations taking on volunteers and interns to appreciate any legal obligations that they may owe them. It is therefore important that a volunteer agreement is in place from the outset, clearly defining each parties’ intentions and obligations.

Generally speaking you should avoid making payments to volunteers that could be construed as wages. Payments to cover actual expenses should be clearly identified as such and ideally reimbursed against receipts. You should remove or, at least minimise perks that could be seen as ‘payment’. Avoid using language that makes the arrangement sound contractual and adopt flexible language. Reduce obligations and conditions on the volunteer, giving him or her the freedom to choose tasks. Treat volunteers fairly. Having clear procedures for dealing with problems and grievances should reduce the likelihood of disputes with volunteers.

If you are considering taking on volunteers and would like some advice about their status and to draft a volunteer agreement, please contact our Employment Solicitors today!

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