Volunteering Guidelines

Your Rights and Responsibilities

We know that by volunteering you are generously donating your time, skills and efforts. But a volunteer environment is still a workplace, and as such, you have certain responsibilities that must be upheld. And of course, you have rights as well!

The following list is the basis of your rights as a volunteer

You have the right:

  • To work in a healthy and safe environment (refer to your State's Work Health and Safety Act[s]);
  • To be interviewed and employed in accordance with equal opportunity and anti-discrimination legislation;
  • To be adequately covered by insurance;
  • To be given accurate and truthful information about the organisation for which you are working;
  • To be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses incurred on behalf of the organisation for which you are working;
  • To be given a copy of the organisation's volunteer policy and any other policy that affects your work;
  • Not to fill a position previously held by a paid worker;
  • Not to do the work of paid staff during industrial disputes;
  • To have a job description and agreed working hours;
  • To have access to a grievance procedure;
  • To be provided with orientation to the organisation;
  • To have your confidential and personal information dealt with in accordance with the principles of the Privacy Act 1988; and
  • To be provided with sufficient training to do your job.

 Before you start, you should check that:

  • The organisation is a legitimate volunteer involving organisation*
  • The purpose of the organisation matches your own values and beliefs
  • The organisation carriespublic liability and volunteer personal accident insurance
  • Your role is clear and specific
  • The organisation can provide you with written information about its purpose and activities
  • You are satisfied that the funds of the organisation are expended in accordance with its mission.

So now that we have covered your rights, here are your responsibilities

All volunteers are expected to:

  • Respect confidentiality and privacy
  • Be punctual and reliable
  • Carry out the duties listed in your volunteer position description
  • Be accountable
  • Give notice if your availability changes or you are leaving the organisation
  • Report any injuries or hazards that you notice in the workplace
  • Adhere to the organisation's policies and procedures
  • Deal with complaints in the appropriate manner
  • Undertake training as requested
  • Ask for support when needed
  • Support other team members

Source: Volunteer Rights & Volunteer Checklist Information Sheet, Volunteering Australia
* amended from original source document.