The recent decision of Grinholz v Football Federation Victoria Inc. has provided much needed clarity surrounding the classification of volunteers’ vis a vis employees.
In this decision, the Fair Work Commission was required to determine whether a coach, who was paid on honorarium was an employee or volunteer for the purposes of an unfair dismissal claim.
Commissioner Roe considered the following indicia to determine Grinholz’s status:
Ultimately, the Commission decided that Grinholz was a volunteer because the “essential character of the arrangement is that of a volunteer and not an employee” because “in cases of not-for-profit community organisations where there are many volunteers involved, different considerations will need to be balanced to derive the essential character of the relationship.”
Critically, the existence of a volunteer agreement helped persuade the Commission that Grinholz was a volunteer and not an employee.
If you need advice or have questions about the status of volunteers in your not-for profit organisation or wish to discuss volunteer agreements, call or email Adam Foster on (03) 9629 9629.