Volunteer Rights Inquiry calls for greater protection for volunteers

Volunteer Rights Inquiry calls for greater protection for volunteers

The findings of the Volunteer Rights Inquiry have been released today in a report published by Volunteering England. Whilst acknowledging the importance and benefits of
volunteering, the report goes on to highlight a number of examples
where volunteers have been mistreated or badly managed.

As well as pointing to the need for greater volunteer management and leadership within organisations, the report outlines several proposed options; including the establishment of an Independent Arbitration
Service, Volunteer Complaints Commission or a Volunteering Ombudsman.

The Inquiry itself was set up as an independent group by Volunteering England after a number of people raised concerns that, when problems arise, volunteers have no rights in dealing with the
organisations they give time to. It consists of volunteer managers,
volunteer rights campaigners, large volunteer-involving organisations
and existing regulators.

Having already held an evidence gathering exercise in drafting the current report, as a next step the Volunteer Rights Inquiry will be engaging with key stakeholders and organisations in order to discuss
proposed options and agree a final ‘call to action’ later in the year.

Sukhvinder Kaur-Stubbs, Chair of Volunteering England:

Members of the Volunteer Rights Inquiry heard from numerous volunteers recounting shocking stories of bad management, poor governance, bullying and improper behaviour. But the sheer scale and
diversity of volunteering in its settings across the public, private
and voluntary sectors, present some challenges in identifying a
universal solution. In this report, our aim is to share the findings
with those responsible for recruiting and resourcing volunteers. By
working together, we are better placed to design solutions and
fail-safes that are proportionate to the range of voluntary action,
maintain the reciprocal nature of volunteering and which uphold parity
of esteem between volunteers and paid staff.

The Volunteer Rights Inquiry report can be downloaded from Volunteering England’s website at: www.volunteering.org.uk/volunteerrightsinquiry where you can also give feedback on the report and register for an engagement event taking place later in July.


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