Volunteer work is unpaid and provides an opportunity for people to participate in the activities of their community. Volunteers (either as members or non-members of the association) can contribute to an association in a wide variety of roles such as:
- bookkeeping and administrative support;
- professional services (e.g. free legal or accounting advice);
- participation on sub-committees;
- participation in, or co-ordination of, activities and events run by the association; and
Although volunteers are not normally classified as employees for the purpose of employment and taxation laws, associations generally owe their volunteers a duty of care in relation to the work they undertake for the association. There are additional legal obligations imposed under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (see Occupational Safety and Health).
Volunteer liability and insurance
In certain circumstances, the Volunteers and Food and other Donors (Protection from Liability) Act 2002 relieves volunteers of incorporated associations from civil liability for acts done in the course of their volunteer work, and transfers that liability to the incorporated association. An incorporated association will generally be liable for anything a volunteer does in good faith when doing work organised by the association unless the the volunteer:
- acts outside the scope of the work organised by the association;
- acts contrary to instructions given by the association; or
- is unable to do their work in a proper manner because his or her actions were significantly impaired by alcohol or non-therapeutic drugs.
Volunteering Western Australia
Volunteering Western Australia is the peak body for volunteering in this State. It supports and promotes the role of volunteers, provides general information about volunteering, opportunities to volunteers, and the rights and responsibilities of both parties.
Level 1, 3 Loftus Street West Leederville WA 6007
Telephone: (08) 9482 4333