Volunteer Management

Volunteers are a unique  and highly valuable type of human resource, but typical HR  legislation and practices are not necessarily always applicable to a volunteer group. This section focuses on the risk, ethics and liability issues related to recruiting, retaining and engaging volunteers. 

Standards, Rights & Responsibilities

According to the Ontario Ministry of Labour:

  • Volunteers are not covered by the Employment Standards Act, 2000.
  • Under the Workplace Safety & Insurance Act, 1997, some volunteers, such as volunteer firefighters are covered, but most are not.
  • Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, a worker is defined in part as being “person who performs work or supplies services for monetary compensation”. Although this definition does not include volunteers, employers still have some responsibility for the health and safety of people visiting or helping out in their workplaces.

Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement (Volunteer Canada)

What does it mean to be a volunteer under Ontario emplyment law? (Kelly Santini LLP's employment law blog for the suddenly unemployed. 2013)


Placement & Training



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