What are my rights and responsibilities as a volunteer?

As a volunteer, you don’t have any contractual obligations to the organisation you volunteer for. You might have signed a volunteer agreement, but this is not the same as an employee contract. Your volunteer agreement should be about hopes and expectations and not about obligations. A volunteering agreement is not a legally binding contract, but it can be useful to refer to if your expectations aren’t met.

Note that whilst you’re not contractually obliged as a volunteer, the law still applies to you as an individual. So if you commit a crime of any sort whilst volunteering, you’re punishable as an individual, just as you would be under any other circumstances.

The club you’re volunteering with does have some obligations towards you as a volunteer:

  • The club needs to make sure the right health and safety measures are in place and you’re not subjected to unnecessary risks.
  • The club is responsible for arranging insurance that covers you as a volunteer in the event that you’re injured or if a claim is made against you.
  • If your club holds your personal data it’s responsible for ensuring it’s managed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

See the following links for more information:

Sport England – What is the difference between employees and volunteers?

The Guardian - Employment law