Responding to a Pandemic: A Guide for Volunteer Involving Organisations
This guide includes information for organisations about safeguarding their volunteering program and volunteers, including handy checklists and decision-making trees. Download your copy here
What does my organisation need to do to safeguard our volunteers?
VolunteeringACT has put together an organisational self-assessment checklist to prompt thinking about volunteer involvement considerations during this time of uncertainty. Download the checklist below:
Keeping Volunteers Safe – Organisational Self-Assessment
Volunteers are considered workers under WHS legislation and have the exact same WHS rights and responsibilities as employees. Your organisation should apply the same considerations to your volunteers as your employees. The Australian Government has released information for employers regarding COVID-19, which can be accessed here. You may want to consider how you can make adjustments to your volunteering programs on an interim basis, such as:
- allowing volunteers to work remotely in order to practice social distancing
- considering how services can be moved online or via phone
- dropping care parcels on someone’s doorstep
We strongly encourage you to consider how volunteers working in face-to-face roles, where physical contact is unavoidable, can be supported to do so in a way that is safe for both the volunteer and the service user.
It is recommended that you obtain independent insurance and/or legal advice regarding your volunteers and volunteering programs during this time.
Residential Aged Care Visitor Access Code
An updated ‘Industry Code for Visiting Aged Care Homes, which aims to balance best practice safety measures in aged care with the rights and mental health of older people across Australia, was released on 22 December 2021. For more information: https://opan.org.au/news/updated-visitorcode
Justice Connect (Not-for-Profit Law) Resources:
Justice Connect has developed a range of resources on volunteer safety, and how to create a safe work environment (both physically and mentally) for volunteers.
Managing people through COVID-19: Volunteers and COVID-19
National Volunteer Guide
Managing people through COVID-19: Work Safety
Managing the return of volunteers to the workplace
Privacy and COVID-19
Other legal advice
* It is recommended that you obtain independent insurance and/or legal advice regarding your volunteers and volunteering programs during this time.
Fair Work Ombudsman: COVID-19 Vaccinations and the Workplace
Australian Human Rights Commission
ACT Human Rights Commission
Volunteering Australia Resources and Position Papers
Volunteering Australia, in collaboration with the state and territory peak bodies for volunteering, have released a number of position papers and other resources on COVID-19 and volunteering:
Position Statement: Volunteers in Aged Care and COVID-19 Vaccinations
COVID-19 Position Paper 3: Volunteering Vaccinations and Being COVID Safe
COVID-19 Position Paper 2: Safeguarding Volunteers and Volunteer Involving Organisations
COVID-19 Position Paper 1: Volunteering and National Policy Settings
Insurance and COVID-19: Guidance for Volunteer Involving Organisations
Tips to keeping Volunteers engaged
VolunteeringACT: Maintaining volunteer engagement in a health emergency
Volunteering Victoria: Off-site Volunteering
Volunteering Victoria: Restarting your Volunteer Program
VolunteeringWA: Returning Volunteers during COVID-19
A step-by-step guide on how to pause a volunteer role on Viktor
NFPs and Charities COVID-19 Changes for Fundraisers, Dinners and Events: A Resource from Aon
Residential Aged care Visitor Access Code from OPAN