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Volunteers: Legal Duties and Protections

Volunteers: Legal Duties and Protections


The law imposes some duties on volunteers personally, for example, in relation to health and safety, data protection, confidentiality, equal opportunities, working with children or vulnerable adults, driving and fundraising. They also have a general legal duty of care, for example to co-volunteers, employees, beneficiaries of the charity and the public. A volunteer must also comply with a charity’s own internal rules and policies.

A volunteer does not have the legal protections given to employees by employment law. However, they do have certain protections under health and safety, data protection and discrimination or harassment laws, and a charity has a general legal duty of care to volunteers.

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