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firesafety101  
#1 Posted : 05 May 2019 15:38:11(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Hi.  Just thinking about volunteering to work in a local library which is run entirely by volunteers otherwise the local council will close the library.

Is working as a volunteer actually counted as 'working'.

Thanks

Edited by user 05 May 2019 15:38:57(UTC)  | Reason: spelling

matelot1965  
#2 Posted : 05 May 2019 20:20:32(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
matelot1965

No not according to Section 52 of the act which you can google.
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firesafety101 on 06/05/2019(UTC)
Messey  
#3 Posted : 05 May 2019 20:32:24(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Messey

A volunteer can be contruded as an employee if they have a contract or an implied one. That is, a verbal non recorded contract.

Below is the Chief Fire Officer Association's guidance to fire safety inspectors:

(note: The Guidance relates to the RRO, but the definaition of 'employee' is identical to the HASAW Act

--------------------------------------------

‘Employee’ – “means an individual who works under a contract of employment or apprenticeship (whether express or implied and, if express, whether oral or in writing), and related expressions are to be construed accordingly; see also sections 11(3)(a), 12(2) and 13(3) (which apply for the purposes of section 2);”10 [An express contract is one in which the terms are stated in words. An implied contract is one in which the existence and terms are manifested by conduct.]

A judgement may have to be made about ... “the status of volunteers, as in the case of many charitable organisations who use them to operate their shops and raise funds. Where such persons are involved a reasoned judgement should be made about whether there is a form of employment contract (written, oral or implied). It should be borne in mind that payment is not necessary for a contract to be valid. It is usual for there to be a form of recompense for a service provided but the form of recompense can vary significantly. Some volunteers may therefore need to be considered as employees.”11 In cases of doubt legal advice should be sought.

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firesafety101 on 06/05/2019(UTC)
RayRapp  
#4 Posted : 06 May 2019 08:01:00(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

Originally Posted by: firesafety101 Go to Quoted Post

Hi.  Just thinking about volunteering to work in a local library which is run entirely by volunteers otherwise the local council will close the library.

Is working as a volunteer actually counted as 'working'.

Thanks

I assume you are talking from a h&s perspective and not a HMRC one.

If you are working for a LA, then they would be subject to HASWA as an employer. Notwithstanding this, volunteers are not normally classified as workers. However, the employing organisation is likely to have a duty care for volunteers.

Edited by user 06 May 2019 18:12:01(UTC)  | Reason: typo

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firesafety101 on 06/05/2019(UTC)
peter gotch  
#5 Posted : 06 May 2019 10:57:02(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

Firesafety 

Why are you asking the Q?

If for eg the purposes of IOSH CPD, then why not?

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firesafety101 on 06/05/2019(UTC)
firesafety101  
#6 Posted : 06 May 2019 11:36:17(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Originally Posted by: Messey Go to Quoted Post

A volunteer can be contruded as an employee if they have a contract or an implied one. That is, a verbal non recorded contract.

Below is the Chief Fire Officer Association's guidance to fire safety inspectors:

(note: The Guidance relates to the RRO, but the definaition of 'employee' is identical to the HASAW Act

--------------------------------------------

‘Employee’ – “means an individual who works under a contract of employment or apprenticeship (whether express or implied and, if express, whether oral or in writing), and related expressions are to be construed accordingly; see also sections 11(3)(a), 12(2) and 13(3) (which apply for the purposes of section 2);”10 [An express contract is one in which the terms are stated in words. An implied contract is one in which the existence and terms are manifested by conduct.]

A judgement may have to be made about ... “the status of volunteers, as in the case of many charitable organisations who use them to operate their shops and raise funds. Where such persons are involved a reasoned judgement should be made about whether there is a form of employment contract (written, oral or implied). It should be borne in mind that payment is not necessary for a contract to be valid. It is usual for there to be a form of recompense for a service provided but the form of recompense can vary significantly. Some volunteers may therefore need to be considered as employees.”11 In cases of doubt legal advice should be sought.

I thought you had it there Messey but then it blurred thanks.
firesafety101  
#7 Posted : 06 May 2019 11:40:00(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Originally Posted by: RayRapp Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: firesafety101 Go to Quoted Post

Hi.  Just thinking about volunteering to work in a local library which is run entirely by volunteers otherwise the local council will close the library.

Is working as a volunteer actually counted as 'working'.

Thanks

I assume you are talking from a h&s perspective and not a HMRC one.

If you are working for a LA, then they would be subject to HASWA as an employer. Notwithstanding this, volunteers are not normally classified as workers. However, the employing organisation is likely to have a duty of care or volunteers.

It would not bother the HMRC as no payment would be made.

I'm not sure who would be the employer as the LA threatened to close the library due to shortage of funds.  I shall have to ask.

firesafety101  
#8 Posted : 06 May 2019 11:46:12(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Originally Posted by: peter gotch Go to Quoted Post

Firesafety 

Why are you asking the Q?

If for eg the purposes of IOSH CPD, then why not?

Peter, I just want to put some hours in as I need to keep busy to avoid going to seed.  
firesafety101  
#9 Posted : 06 May 2019 12:36:54(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

I just had a thought.  There are 2 libraries where I live, one is open full time and librarians are employed and paid to 'work' there.

The other is run by 'volunteers' who are not paid.

Staff at both libraries are doing the same 'work'.

How can one set of employees be 'working' and the other set 'not working'?

I understand that being paid is accepted as working but why being unpaid cannot be classed as not working?

RayRapp  
#10 Posted : 06 May 2019 18:19:05(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

You are 'working' but as you are not getting paid, not recieving any benefit in kind, the correct terminology is a volunteer worker. Nevertheless, you are still entitled to the same h&s protection as a paid worker. That said, working in a library is fairly safe and you will not need hearing defenders - Lol.  

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SJP on 04/06/2019(UTC)
firesafety101  
#11 Posted : 06 May 2019 21:38:34(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Volunteer Worker is a good sensible term.  Thank you Ray.

Mark-W  
#12 Posted : 08 May 2019 07:07:19(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Mark-W

In the charity I worked for we relied on an army of volunteers. The charity had a duty of care to ensure their safety. I produced a folder with all the relevant policys and procedures and placed a hard copy in every shop and had the manager ensure that they read and signed to say they had read and understood them. The volunteers were consulted in H&S matters, we treated them exactly how we treated paid staff. In fact they were probably treated better. I'd say that if they asked for something work related and were vocal enough about it, it happened, whereas if a member of staff moaned the directors/trustees either ignored them or complied with their wishes reluctanctly.

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RayRapp on 08/05/2019(UTC), firesafety101 on 08/05/2019(UTC)
firesafety101  
#13 Posted : 08 May 2019 11:19:05(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Hi Mark, many thanks for your input.

The reason I asked initially was to see if payment is required for work to be considered as work.  I got the answer yesterday so many thanks everyone.

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Mark-W on 08/05/2019(UTC)
firesafety101  
#14 Posted : 02 June 2019 12:53:04(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Hi, I was working yesterday as a Casual Employed steward at the Mersey River Festival and alongside me were a number of Volunteers who I was told by the event organiser will be paid.

Just for info.

jwk  
#15 Posted : 03 June 2019 08:58:06(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
jwk

Morning all,

Been doing H&S in the third sector for 25 plus years, the last 20 for household names. I have always regarded volunteers as workers for H&S purposes as they are engaged in the undertaking of the employer: indeed my last and current employer both have frontline services which wouldn't run without volunteers. Volunteers for large charities usually have a formal written agreement, which is not called a contract but it does set out rights and expectations.

The single exception to this is for RIDDOR reporting purposes. I am a member of the Charities Safety Group, and the Chair wrote to HSE for clarification. Their response was that for RIDDOR purposes a volunteer is a member of the public. But then RIDDOR would be different, wouldn't it?

The Charities Safety Group also considers that it is prudent to regard volunteers as employees for all other H&S purposes,

John

Edited by user 03 June 2019 09:43:26(UTC)  | Reason: Tingpy

thanks 4 users thanked jwk for this useful post.
firesafety101 on 03/06/2019(UTC), SJP on 04/06/2019(UTC), Dave5705 on 12/06/2019(UTC), jmaclaughlin on 12/06/2019(UTC)
firesafety101  
#16 Posted : 03 June 2019 12:19:31(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Many thanks JWK.

Oxford  
#17 Posted : 11 June 2019 15:01:58(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Oxford

I can add even more confusion over this question......is a Monk (or a Nun, for that matter) covered by H&S legislation? They are not, by definition, employed as they are members of their order (who are not, in the truest sense, employers) but all they do things like teaching and community work, including doing prison visits, but they are not paid (although some brothers may receive some sort of stipend)

????

A Kurdziel  
#18 Posted : 11 June 2019 15:25:38(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

The issue is not whether someone is a worker or not but firstly whether the ‘person’ they are working for is an employer. If they are then section 2 of Health and Safety at Work Act applies for employees (ie people paid to work for the employer under their supervision through a contract of employment –which might not be a written contract) anybody else who comes into contact with the employer might come under Section 3 of Health and Safety at Work Act including, volunteers, students, visitors and members of the public.  This could well include a mendicant nun or monk who attends prison. Once they are in the prison then the prison service has responsibility for them as they have for any visitor.

If the ‘person’ that the volunteers work with is purely a charitable body with no employees at all the Health and Safety at Work Act does not apply. There are very few significant charities which have absolutely no employees.   

Martin Gray  
#19 Posted : 11 June 2019 20:39:50(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Martin Gray

I have been a volunteer for my local canal trust for the last 10 years since taking early retirement.  We work in construction as well as operating plant, engineering/fabrication and in visitors centres, (we are not part of the Canals and River Trust), we have restored approx 6 miles of canal and hope to be successful in obtaining funding to link to the main network in the next 5 years.

The organisation only had 3 paid employees but as volunteers the tasks we undertake all require adherance to the H&S Act in full CDM, RA's Method Statements etc, we do report incidents to the HSE that would apply to paid employees and have been visited by the HSE asking for copies of RA's and policy documents to assist in one of their investigations.

The simple answer is whether a paid employee or a volunteer in our Trust we are all treated as equals.

Most of us do it for the companionship after retirement and we have some volunteers in their 70's and 80's who do what their body is capable of and for as long or as little time as they want to give.  It keeps our mind and bodies active

Dave5705  
#20 Posted : 12 June 2019 06:41:00(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Dave5705

Originally Posted by: A Kurdziel Go to Quoted Post

The issue is not whether someone is a worker or not but firstly whether the ‘person’ they are working for is an employer. If they are then section 2 of Health and Safety at Work Act applies for employees (ie people paid to work for the employer under their supervision through a contract of employment –which might not be a written contract) anybody else who comes into contact with the employer might come under Section 3 of Health and Safety at Work Act including, volunteers, students, visitors and members of the public.  This could well include a mendicant nun or monk who attends prison. Once they are in the prison then the prison service has responsibility for them as they have for any visitor.

If the ‘person’ that the volunteers work with is purely a charitable body with no employees at all the Health and Safety at Work Act does not apply. There are very few significant charities which have absolutely no employees.   

Mendicant! I had to look that one up! That's why I love this forum, it's educational on many levels. Thnaks Andy. :-)
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A Kurdziel on 12/06/2019(UTC)
A Kurdziel  
#21 Posted : 12 June 2019 08:31:17(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

Originally Posted by: Dave5705 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: A Kurdziel Go to Quoted Post

The issue is not whether someone is a worker or not but firstly whether the ‘person’ they are working for is an employer. If they are then section 2 of Health and Safety at Work Act applies for employees (ie people paid to work for the employer under their supervision through a contract of employment –which might not be a written contract) anybody else who comes into contact with the employer might come under Section 3 of Health and Safety at Work Act including, volunteers, students, visitors and members of the public.  This could well include a mendicant nun or monk who attends prison. Once they are in the prison then the prison service has responsibility for them as they have for any visitor.

If the ‘person’ that the volunteers work with is purely a charitable body with no employees at all the Health and Safety at Work Act does not apply. There are very few significant charities which have absolutely no employees.   

Mendicant! I had to look that one up! That's why I love this forum, it's educational on many levels. Thnaks Andy. :-)

Hmm will find a new word for next week...

jwk  
#22 Posted : 13 June 2019 13:37:05(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
jwk

Originally Posted by: Oxford Go to Quoted Post

I can add even more confusion over this question......is a Monk (or a Nun, for that matter) covered by H&S legislation? They are not, by definition, employed as they are members of their order (who are not, in the truest sense, employers) but all they do things like teaching and community work, including doing prison visits, but they are not paid (although some brothers may receive some sort of stipend)

????

I work for an organisation which has 4,000 employees, and also around 1,200 church leaders who: do not have a contract of employment, they have a deed; do not get paid a salary but get a stipend; are not line-managed in any normally understood sense of the word. For H&S purposes we definitely regard these people as workers, since they are engaged in the undertaking of the organisation. I just wish they all felt the same way themselves....

John

Edited by user 13 June 2019 13:40:00(UTC)  | Reason: The usaul

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A Kurdziel on 13/06/2019(UTC)
A Kurdziel  
#23 Posted : 13 June 2019 14:19:00(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

If we really want to muddy the waters; what about the status of Members of Parliament (Lords as well as Commons). Not employees and the Palace of Westminster as a whole is outside the law essentially.

 

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jwk on 13/06/2019(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#24 Posted : 13 June 2019 20:41:53(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

MP, Lord, work in the same sentence? Those red pills have some serious side effects
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A Kurdziel on 14/06/2019(UTC), andrewhopwood on 24/06/2019(UTC)
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