Palliative Care NSW Volunteer Support Services Programme
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Updated advice for managing the return of volunteers

The Federal Government has recently updated its advice regarding workers considered to be at increased risk of a serious COVID-19 infection.

Taking these changes into account, the people at Not-For-Profit Law have altered their fact sheet on Managing the return of volunteers to the workplace. Some community organisations with volunteer services may find the information covered within useful when considering how they might resume their own volunteer activities.

The fact sheet considers the following questions:

  • Who are the categories of people that may be at increased risk of a serious COVID-19 infection?
  • Can (and should) we ask volunteers to return to the workplace?
  • Can we ask our volunteers to tell our organisation if they fit into an ‘increased risk’ category?
  • Do we have any special obligations for handling this type of health information about volunteers?
  • How does our organisation decide whether to ask volunteers to return to the workplace?
  • Our organisation has undertaken a risk assessment, consulted with volunteers and we think we need to pause or change the volunteering model – is this OK?
  • How does our organisation know if the steps we are taking are ‘reasonable steps’ or that we are doing what is ‘reasonably practicable’?
  • Can we put a blanket policy in place that prevents specific volunteers from returning to the workplace?
  • If we ask a volunteer to stop volunteering with our organisation, could we be in breach of anti-discrimination laws?
  • Can we ask our volunteers for a medical clearance before allowing them to return to the workplace?
  • What happens if a volunteer contracts COVID-19 and is not covered by volunteer personal accident insurance? Could we be held liable (legally responsible)?
  • Can we ask our volunteers to sign a waiver to protect the organisation from liability in the event they contract COVID-19?
  • What should we do if a volunteer refuses to follow a COVID-safe plan or follow preventative measures?


Click here to find their updated fact sheet.

For more information click here to go to their website.

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