Author Topic: Are Volunteers or Working Parties Allowed  (Read 2797 times)

ibeirne

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Are Volunteers or Working Parties Allowed
« on: October 19, 2021, 17:02:19 »
We are told volunteers or working parties to carry out work on boundaries or common areas are not allowed by our association because they would constitute employees and effect our insurance costs - is this correct?  It sounds a bit strange to me.

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Are Volunteers or Working Parties Allowed
« on: October 19, 2021, 17:02:19 »

BarriedaleNick

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Re: Are Volunteers or Working Parties Allowed
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2021, 19:41:09 »
We had work parties twice a year for ages and of course informal work parties to do jobs around the site on an ad hoc basis.
It sounds like someone is using it as an excuse not to get things done...
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Obelixx

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Re: Are Volunteers or Working Parties Allowed
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2021, 21:24:05 »
I think insurance companies know the difference between employees and volunteers.   If a committee meeting Minutes a decision to invite or allow volunteers to do some work to the benefit of the site and its safety or access than there should be no problem.

Ask to see the insurance contract?  That should clear it up.
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Beersmith

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Re: Are Volunteers or Working Parties Allowed
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2021, 22:01:49 »
I am not really sure that I understand the question.

Who is the"we" that are being told that they cannot perform collective voluntary work and who is doing the telling.  Like most sites ours has a set of rules and regulations based on the Local Authority rules.  But anyone can get a copy and read them, so no-one can arbitrarily say "you can't do this or that", because people would immediately say "where is that in the rules".

Major works would be an LA matter anyway, but a little bit of group work is commonplace, like path maintenance, clearing a patch of bramble etc. One very generous plot holder dug another's plot when they were ill. Purely voluntary. How could that be against any rules?

Not mad, just out to mulch!

Tee Gee

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Re: Are Volunteers or Working Parties Allowed
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2021, 23:34:18 »
We had an understanding with the council with some projects that plot holders wanted doing on the plots was that the plot holders would supply the labour and the council would fund any materials required.

The type of work that was covered by this arrangement was generally labour intensive and material costs were minimal. One example we did was refelt the leaking roof of our communal site hut.

Let's be clear this didn't happen often but in such situations the manager of the Councils allotments had the authority to use his discretion and authorise such an arrangement from his annual department funding rather than going cap in hand to the Finance department.

So in essence we worked WITH the council particularly when many of the plot holders worked in trades that carried out similar tasks in their everyday life.

IanDH

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Re: Are Volunteers or Working Parties Allowed
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2021, 13:27:59 »
This is one of those that is not straight forward.  Some of it will depend on what you want them to do and some will depend on what is covered by any current insurance.  Some public liability insurance policies may cover what you are looking to do.  This is something that I have come across in my day job working with charities and the voluntary sector.

An answer from an insurance company - https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/stories/do-you-need-employers-liability-insurance-for-your-volunteers

Answer from Vol Sector advice organisation - https://www.volunteernow.co.uk/app/uploads/2019/03/Volunteering-and-Insurance-Information-Sheet_NL.pdf

Answer from an organisation that provides legal advice to voluntary organisations - https://www.lawworks.org.uk/sites/default/files/files/LW-NFPP-C19-VOL-Response-Vol.pdf

In the end there will be a duty of care if you are considered to be volunteering for an organsiation.  Whether there will be insurance to cover this will depend on your specific policy - in all likelihood it could be extended to cover at marginal cost.

Tiny Clanger

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Re: Are Volunteers or Working Parties Allowed
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2021, 11:23:58 »
When we first took on our plot, there was a "working party" on the first Saturday morning of every month 09:30 hours to 12:30 hours - or  more if anyone wanted to stay. The object was to help keep vacant plots tide and grass areas/paths mowed and strimmed.  I turned up for one but the committee were so disorganised that the next few times I turned up - no-one else did! so I gave up. 
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