What could be expected of volunteers as part of an agreement The agreement should describe how the volunteer will contribute to your organization`s goals and mission in describing the volunteer mission. In order to avoid the emergence of something similar to an employment contract, it is proposed that the following wording should be included in each agreement: if you already have a voluntary agreement, it is recommended to check it to ensure that it is useful, taking into account the fundamental principles set out in this article. Some organizations will also opt for a voluntary policy that will provide a framework for the volunteer program and establish the general principles for implementing the program. While such policies may be useful, the same principles apply as in the case of a voluntary agreement, and the language and tone of the policy will be very important. If in doubt, you should seek legal advice. A volunteer agreement generally defines the legitimate expectations of both the organization and the volunteers. This is very different from an employment contract and it is important to ensure that the language and content are appropriate. Organizations should be aware of the risk of an accidental employment contract with volunteers. However, this risk can be minimized by the best practices described below: it may be useful to establish a cover letter for a voluntary agreement specifying the purpose and content of the document and to demonstrate less formally the intent of the organization. These concepts can also be explained when initiating a volunteer.
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. Agreements can be signed at the end of a trial period and an updated and verified description of volunteer missions should be accompanied by the agreement. You can learn more about this, our best practice guide: Descriptions of volunte tasks. Simply calling someone a volunteer does not necessarily mean that they have that status, even if the person does not object to it at that time. If you grant income or voluntary benefit or are obliged on your behalf to work with the individual`s obligation to do the work (in legal terminology, “mandatory counter-reciprocity”), you may find that your “volunteers” are indeed employed or salaried, with all the legal requirements that this entails. Implementation of a written voluntary agreement can significantly reduce this risk. 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 should be noted that the provision of voluntary training does not depend on the number of hours of volunteering. For more information, please see our guide on volunteering and law. 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.