For Organisations

Last updated 26/08/2020

Safeguard volunteers

  • Protecting the health and safety of staff and volunteers are the most important things to consider.
  • Most Volunteer Involving Organisations (VIOs) suspended non-essential volunteering programs involving face-to-face contact from late March 2020.
  • Most formal volunteers are considered workers under work health and safety laws and as should be afforded the same considerations as paid employees.
    • For more information for employers refer here.
    • For more information on COVID-19 and safe work refer here.
  • If you organisation is running programs and services involving volunteers, every measure should be taken to protect their health and safety.
    • This includes sharing and reinforcing information provided by the Australian Government about hygience and social distancing.
  • 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.
  • General advice on managing volunteers while Responding to a Pandemic in WA is available in this guide published by Volunteering WA.

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 VIRA platform can be used to manage volunteer information? Find out more here.
  • 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.
    • To find out more about the latest changes click here.

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.
  • 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 here.

WA State Government Actions

  • The State Government, through Lotterywest, has committed $159 million into a COVID-19 Relief Fund to respond to the hardship being experienced by the Western Australian community as a result the COVID-19 pandemic. More details the program are listed here.
  • The Commissioner for Consumer Protection in WA has also provided updated advice for incorporated associations and clubs. Find out more here.