What is the relationship between the board and volunteers?

Most board members are volunteers. Some organisations choose to pay their board members, but care must be taken (especially for charitable organisations) that the inherent conflict of interests is authorised and managed appropriately.

If the organisation has a management team, the board would normally delegate all volunteer liaison to its managers.

In any event, the organisation will have duties to its volunteers to make sure they operate within a safe environment, free from abuse, and generally in line with all other Health and Safety rules and regulations. Even when a volunteer does not have workers’ or employment rights, the organisation will owe them a duty of care.

Note that data protection regulations will apply to the personal data of volunteers in much the same way as any other person.

Also note that, since a volunteer will not be an employee, any literature or graphics they produce will be subject to copyright, and (in the absence of any other agreement), the volunteer will retain the rights over those works.

Special care will be needed if any volunteers are under 16 years of age.

For more information about volunteers and volunteering please visit Reach Volunteering.

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