Voluntary organizations/organizations sometimes thank volunteers by donating vouchers or a bottle of wine at the end of their volunteer activity. If these items are modest — basically a token — then there should be no problem. However, if coupons or other gifts are given regularly or if the value is significant, this could jeopardize the volunteer relationship. If a volunteer receives a benefit that goes beyond what would be considered appropriate for a true volunteer, it could omit the organization of a complaint about non-payment of NMW. The consequences of non-payment of NMW, where it is due, can be serious. Organizations may be required to pay years of additional payments, plus penalties. A voluntary agreement should include what the organization offers to the volunteer, for example. B appropriate information, training and support to carry out the tasks and activities to which a volunteer has committed himself; Assistance to the Organization during its volunteer work; and how the organization manages expenses, etc. One of the main advantages of volunteering contracts is that they help reduce the risk of misunderstanding between a volunteer and an organization.
There is no legal definition of a “volunteer” for general labour law purposes. However, it is generally accepted that the main characteristics of a voluntary agreement are that individuals give up their time to do something unpaid for the good of others. It is the most important foundation on which all the other building blocks of volunteering are based. Your policy will clearly explain to all employees, volunteers and service users why volunteers are involved. Some organizations have willingly signed contracts. In such cases, it is doubly important to ensure that it is clear that the agreement is binding only in honour. Otherwise, it would be a reasonable question: if you do not intend to use it as a binding document, why do you need signatures? It is a good practice that there is a trial period and that volunteer time is regularly limited and verified – every six months up to a year. This gives the organization and volunteers the opportunity to terminate the agreement or discuss changes over time.
An audit date should also be indicated in the voluntary agreement. Volunteers can support invaluable non-profit organizations and organizations should not be deterred from volunteering for fear of creating involuntary legal obligations. Steps can be taken to reduce this risk and ensure that both parties clearly understand the nature of the relationship. Voluntary agreements are not legally binding, but are intended to clearly state what the organization offers and what it seeks in return.