Volunteer Rights




Did You Know
– Employed people, either in full-time (38%) or part-time work (44%), volunteer more than unemployed people (20%) or those not in the labour force (31%).
– Volunteers (82%) were much more likely than non-volunteers (55%) to have attended a community event in the last 6 months.
– When asked about their overall life satisfaction, 82% of volunteers reported they were delighted, pleased or mostly satisfied with their lives, compared to 75% of non-volunteers.

Unlike paid staff, volunteers are not covered by awards or Work-place agreements. Volunteers, however, do have rights! Some are dictated through legislation others are the moral obligation of the organization involving volunteers. As a volunteer you have the right:

–          To work in a healthy and safe environment (refers to various 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 given a copy of the organisation’s volunteer policy and any other policy that effects 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 organization

–          To have your confidential and personal information dealt with in accordance with the principles of the Privacy Act 1988

–          To be provided with sufficient training for you to do your job

A huge thank you to Tamara Varley for this wonderful legend to volunteering. The project was made possible through funding provided by the Australian Government, Department of Social Services under the Commonwealth HACC Program and NSW Government, Family and Community Services under the Community Care Support Program. For more information head to:

Volunteering Australia
PO Box 128
Civic Square
Canberra 2608
Phone: 02 6251 4060

The Centre for Volunteering NSW
Level 3
40 Gloucester St
The Rocks NSW 2000
Phone: 02 9261 3600
Fax: 02 9261 4033

TRI Community Exchange Inc
PO Box 63
Emu Plains
NSW 2750
Phone: 9891 4522

National Standards for Involving volunteers in Not-For-Profit organisations

Fun Facts sourced from Volunteering NSW Website