Government publishes new Covid-19 guidance for charity volunteers

According to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, the document aims to “help organisations and groups understand how to safely and effectively involve volunteers during the pandemic”.

We’ve summarised the main points you need to know about below:

Can you volunteer from outside your home?

Yes, but only if you are unable to volunteer from home, you do not need to self-isolate and are not clinically extremely vulnerable. Volunteers working outside of their home should follow social distancing guidance, and charities should ensure workplaces are Covid-secure.

Can volunteers travel?

Yes, but are advised to walk or cycle where possible. When necessary, volunteers should avoid busy times and routes on public transport.

People wishing to travel into another nation in the UK to volunteer need to check the restrictions of that nation before doing so.

Should volunteers wear face coverings?

Volunteers should follow public health guidance on face coverings. Face coverings are required in enclosed public spaces, places where they cannot stay one metre apart from other people, and places where they will come into contact with people they do not usually meet.

Do volunteers qualify as “essential workers”?

Some volunteers may be considered “essential” under the Government’s current definition. Volunteers in essential worker roles are prioritised for coronavirus testing.

Charities who use volunteers

Organisations have a duty of care to volunteers to ensure as far as reasonably practicable they are not exposed to risks to their health and safety. This includes keeping your workplace Covid-secure and regularly assessing risks. Insurance may also be necessary in some situations.

Can workers on furlough volunteer?

Employees who are furloughed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can, during the hours they are on furlough, volunteer for another employer or organisation. During the hours they are on furlough, employees are not permitted to volunteer for their own employer or an organisation linked or associated with their employer.

For support and advice on related issues, please get in touch with our expert team today.

Posted in Blog, Charities.