Both volunteers and the organisations they work with have rights and responsibilities. Volunteers are engaged to perform a specific job and the organisation agrees to provide the volunteer with a worthwhile and rewarding experience. In return, each has the right to some basic expectations of the other.
Organisations have the right to:
- Receive as much effort and service from a volunteer as a paid worker, even on a short-term basis.
- To select the best volunteer for the job by interviewing and screening all applicants. This might include reference and police checks and, where appropriate, a prohibited employment declaration for roles that involve working directly with children.
- Expect volunteers to adhere to their job descriptions/outlines and the organisation’s code of practice.
- Expect volunteers to undertake training provided for them and observe safety rules.
- Make the decision regarding the best placement of a volunteer.
- Express opinions about poor volunteer effort in a diplomatic way.
- Expect loyalty to the organisation and only accept constructive criticism.
- Expect clear and open communication from the volunteer.
- Negotiate work assignments.
- Release volunteers under certain circumstances.
Volunteers have the right to:
- Be treated as co-workers. This includes job descriptions, Equal Employment Opportunity, Occupational Health & Safety, anti-discrimination legislation and organisational grievance processes.
- Be asked for their permission before any job-related reference, police or other checks are conducted.
- A job or task worthwhile to them, for no more than 16 hours a week on a regular basis in one role.
- Know the purpose and “ground rules” of the organisation.
- Appropriate orientation and training for the job.
- Be kept informed of organisational changes and the reasons for the changes.
- A place to work and suitable tools for the job.
- Reimbursement of agreed expenses.
- Be heard and make suggestions.
- Personal accident insurance (in place of workers compensation insurance).
- A verbal reference or statement of service, if appropriate.