Including volunteers in key organizational policies

Hi all,

I’m currently writing a strategy for developing a national volunteer program and am advising that where the organization has the same duty of care to paid staff and volunteers, that volunteers are included in organizational policies, such as:

Health and Safety
Safeguarding vulnerable Adults

Just wondered what everyone else does? do you include volunteers in any other organizational policies, or do you keep your volunteers policies separate?


Hi Ally,

In general terms we would suggest

Volunteers are included in the organizations Health and Safety Policy Equal Opportunities and/or Diversity Policy Safeguarding policies (where organizations require them)

We also encourage organizations to have a separate Problem Solving Policy for volunteers, that is separate and different to the Staff Grievance procedure.

Please do let me know if you would be interested in the Volunteer Management Charter and Health Check- which covers the above. We also have the option for groups to self assess and get a generic action plan by doing it online at

We generally include volunteers with staff in the policies, however like Jennifer we have a Complaints Procedure that is separate and different from the staff grievance procedure. Also, the staff disciplinary procedure isn’t appropriate for volunteers; so we have a procedure which sets out the action which will be taken in the event of misconduct, unacceptable behavior or persistent unsatisfactory performance by a volunteer.

In some cases where there are small differences between what is right for volunteers and what is right for staff, we cover them under a single policy but mention in it the differences. For example our Expenses Policy provides that Personnel traveling as part of their Impetus volunteering or duties may claim reimbursement of their travel expenses, except that employees may not claim for travel to or from their normal place of work. Also, a volunteer working away from home for more than four hours in a day or who is required to work across a lunch or dinner period may claim the cost of food up to £5 if food has not been provided.

All the best.

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