Volunteering England welcomes judgment of Supreme Court on volunteers and employment legislation
Wednesday, 12 December 2012
Volunteering England welcomes the judgment of the Supreme Court that employment legislation does not cover volunteers, in the case of X v Mid Sussex Citizens Advice Bureau.
Dr Justin Davis Smith, chief executive of Volunteering England, stated:
“We believe that giving volunteers the same legal status as employees would fundamentally undermine the nature of volunteering. It would create significant practical barriers and additional costs for charities and other volunteer-involving organisations. It would lead to a formalisation of the structures and processes of volunteering that we believe would be harmful to the ethos of volunteering, which is of such vital importance throughout our society.
“Volunteering England is very concerned that volunteers should be able to trust in and rely on fair treatment where they volunteer. The independent Volunteer Rights Inquiry, led by the chair of Volunteering England Sukhvinder Kaur-Stubbs, concluded the best way ahead would be through improving good practice in management. It created the 3 R Promise, which asks organisations to commit to endeavouring to get it Right in managing volunteers, to provide processes for Reconciliation if things go wrong and to accept their Responsibility. This offers a framework to which volunteers could have recourse where they felt unfairly treated, and we believe that is a procedure more appropriate for volunteers than employment law.”