Volunteers are not covered by awards or work-place agreements, however volunteers do have rights, some of which are legislated, such as work, health and safety, and anti-discrimination laws, and others which are considered the moral obligations of organisations involving volunteers. We promote the basic rights of a volunteer as set out by Volunteering Australia.
Organisations involving volunteers provide different experiences for volunteers. Apart from legal obligations, it is up to each organisation how they will recruit, support and acknowledge their volunteers. While we believe every volunteer has rights and work to promote these with volunteer-involving organisations, it is up to each individual when they begin their volunteering to ascertain the conditions in which they will be volunteering.
When you sign up as a volunteer, along with your rights, you also have responsibilities to your organisation.
As a volunteer you have the right to:
- work in a healthy and safe environment
- be recruited in accordance with equal opportunity and anti-discrimination legislation
- be engaged in a meaningful role that adds value to the organisation’s purpose and goals
- receive relevant induction, training, supervision and feedback to fully understand and carry out your role safely and effectively
- be given accurate and truthful information about the organisation you work with
- be adequately covered by the organisation’s insurance
- have a position description, agreed working hours, reasonable workload and clear tasks
- be trusted with confidential information if necessary for your role
- have your confidential and personal information properly managed and privacy protected
- have choices and feel comfortable about saying no
- have access to volunteer and relevant organisational policies and procedures, including a grievance procedure
- be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses
- be supported in your role and consulted about matters that directly affect you and your work
- participate in organisational life through inclusion in meetings and social events
- not be exploited
- not fill a position previously held by a paid worker
- not do the work of paid staff during industrial disputes
- be acknowledged and appreciated for your contribution, value and impact in you volunteering position