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Organisations will want to keep appropriate boundaries between their paid staff and their volunteers, while endeavouring to ensure both are valued equally. While volunteers do not have the same employment rights as staff, do make sure that volunteers are treated fairly and consistently.
The main reason organisations find themselves in difficulties over this issue is when a volunteer has made a complaint and they felt it wasn’t addressed internally. They have tried to establish employee status in order to get the complaint resolved. This is a complex issue and the organisation may need to take legal advice.
This is not a significant risk as volunteers are unlikely to want to be ‘employees’. However, if things do go wrong, the impact can be significant and an organisation’s reputation may be damaged. To manage the risk there are several things to consider:
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