20th February 2019
A Volunteer Charter
Principles for Assuring Legitimacy and Preventing Exploitation of Workers and Volunteers.
The Charter sets out key principles which help to underpin good relations in a volunteering environment. Volunteer Scotland and the STUC are committed to the free association and community spirit that motivates trade unionism and community action across Scotland. Organisations that recruit volunteers in place of workers or that arrange unpaid activities to enhance employment prospects*, undermine genuine volunteering, which is nurtured by strong and supportive networks, solidarity, and community spirit.
[ * ‘and where the main motivation is to gain unpaid labour’, see Editorial note 1 below.]
These new principles should be used as a guide by individual organisations in all sectors to develop more detailed policies and procedures that reflect local needs and circumstances. This should be done, wherever possible, between local union representatives, employers and volunteering managers.
[Editorial Note 1, 18/08/19 – there is a rich tradition of volunteering designed principally to help individuals’ improve their employment prospects. These types of opportunities meet the Charter Principles. This is not to be confused with organisations whose main motivation is to gain unpaid labour through promising enhanced employment prospects, the legitimacy of the “volunteering roles” they offer should be questioned.]