For volunteer involving organisations
Last updated January 2023
Protecting the health and safety of staff and volunteers are the most important things to consider. Volunteers should be afforded the same work health and safety considerations as paid employees.
This Volunteering WA resource provides specific information about Returning Volunteer Programs and Volunteers during COVID-19.
Be prepared to continue to review volunteer programs and adjust to Government directives, advice or changes in your organisation’s risk assessment.
SUPPORT SELF-CARE AND COMMUNICATION FOR VOLUNTEERS
- Ensure volunteers feel supported to make decisions in their best interests around whether to continue to volunteer or not.
- Keep volunteers informed about what is happening with regard to:
- Any changes to service delivery
- Any changes to communication channels (ie should they email queries if people are now working from home?)
- Ensure volunteer contact information is up to date.
- Did you know that Volunteering WA’s INVOLVE platform can be used to manage volunteer information?
- Set strict expectations on unwell volunteers
- Clearly communicate that it they are unwell they should stay home and seek medical attention if needed.
- Volunteers are used to helping others. But let them know its ok to ask for help if they need it.
ENSURE YOUR VOLUNTEERING PROGRAMS ARE COMPLIANT WITH RESTRICTIONS
- The State Government has implemented a number of stages of restrictions in response to the pandemic to limit the risk of widespread community transmission.
REVIEW YOUR CONTINGENCIES AND INSURANCES
- Your organisation may have a business continuity plan for how it will operate if a significant proportion of staff or volunteers are unavailable or there are interruptions to key services (such as IT) or suppliers.
- It may provide guidance on how to manage this period of transition, back to full or partial operation, during COVID-19 restrictions.
- Or if you would like to develop one, here's a link to a template for a business continuity plan https://www.publications.qld.gov.au/dataset/business-continuity-planning-template
- Every insurance policy will have varying terms and conditions so you should check directly with your insurance company or broker.
- It is not recommended that volunteer-involving organisations place volunteer staff in roles that were previously held by paid staff or have been identified as paid jobs.
- For more information on managing employment issues in not-for-profits during COVID-19 crisis, refer to NFPLaw.