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Employees & Volunteers

Charity Employees and Volunteers

A charity's employees are one of its key assets. And those charities which are capable of mobilising volunteers have an asset which is often just as valuable.

Like all assets, the value of employees and volunteers to a charity will depend upon how effectively they are managed; to get the best from them, but also to minimise the risks posed by the often complex legal framework which applies.

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Workplace Employment Policies and Procedures

We understand the challenges faced by charities both in managing workplace issues and also keeping up to date with employment legislation and case law changes.  Policies and procedures are important in any workplace, to set out the standards of conduct required of employees and also to provide them with a guide on how things are done.  And defending employment tribunal proceedings as a result of a failure to apply proper procedures and policies can be time consuming and expensive.

Redundancies and Business Transfers

Having to make decisions about redundancies in the workplace can be challenging for employers - as can business transfers and outsourcing arrangements which trigger complex issues under the Transfer of Undertaking (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE).

Equality and Diversity

Added to this is the challenge of managing equality and diversity, which spans the whole of the employment relationship.  If not tackled early, dealing with discrimination in the workplace can lead to expensive and time consuming disputes that may also be damaging to staff morale.

Charity Volunteers

Formalising arrangements with volunteers can also be tricky as charities will want certainty as to a volunteer's commitment but will not want to formalise legal relations in a way that creates worker or employee status issues and that may inadvertently confer statutory rights such as an entitlement to the national minimum wage or statutory holiday pay.

How can we help?

We provide a comprehensive range of legal support for our charity clients in relation to their employees and volunteers.

A combination of policies and procedures and training is available for those involved in recruitment to help reduce the legal risks that may arise around discrimination challenges from an unsuccessful candidate and ensure effective use of diversity monitoring.

Support on strategic decisions such as a restructuring or merger, particularly in relation to TUPE and pensions is another of the bespoke offerings.

Where there is an employment dispute, we will guide you through the process and be proactive in managing tribunal claims. We will also work with you at an early stage to identify:

  • the risks and the approach to a claim
  • how much a claim is worth and how much resource you want to dedicate to defending from a commercial perspective.

More information on our Employment law expertise.

For specialist employment law advice regarding charity employees and volunteers, please contact Con Alexander on 0117 314 5214.

The quality of service is strong, but always balanced with a practical viewpoint. Advice is therefore not excessively legalistic and can be implemented more easily than would be possible with a more technical approach.

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Meet the team

Our charity lawyers have a broad variety of legal expertise and offer a full legal service to the charity sector.

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Con Alexander - Partner at VWV

Charity Law


Emma-Jane Dalley - Partner at VWV

Charity Law


Further Education

Barney Northover - Independent Schools Partner & Education Lawyer at VWV

Independent Schools

Charity Law


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We joined forces with Radcliffe Chambers and The Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) last Thursday to host a 'mock trial' in the iconic Library of Birmingham.
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