Cobaw Community Health’s Central Victoria Volunteer Service recently hosted a series of subsidised training sessions on ‘Understanding Legal Issues’ facilitated by Not-for-profit Law.

The sessions were designed to help organisations and their volunteer coordinators clarify and understand the responsibilities they have towards their volunteers. The two training sessions in Woodend and Castlemaine covered a range of topics including:

  • Key legal differences between a volunteer, an employee and an independent contractor
  • Volunteer selection processes
  • Insurance
  • Equal opportunity, information and privacy laws
  • Duty of care requirements for volunteers
  • Legal responsibilities
  • Ending the volunteer relationship.

“Volunteers play a vital role in the community sector, yet the way the law applies to them can be complex and confusing. This training is designed to help organisations understand the laws that apply to it and its volunteers at each stage of the relationship. A legally compliant volunteer program serves to protect the organisation, its clients and most importantly, the volunteers delivering positive outcomes in our society,” said Kaela Snibson, presenter at the training.

According to Sam Meehan, volunteer coordinator for Kyneton Caring Community Inc., “the session was extremely useful. I was really interested in learning about managing risks associated with running a volunteer service and Kaela was able to run through this really well. I think all volunteer organisations should attend a session like this.”

Our Central Victorian Volunteer Service supports organisations and projects to maximise volunteer participation and effectiveness. Services include providing volunteering information, training support, referrals, professional development and resources for volunteer managers, coordinators and community groups, and community volunteer recognition events.

Feel free to contact us for best practice guidance and information on managing volunteers.