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volunteer grass cutting in park

0 votes
Hello,

Please can you kindly help and advise.

The local Parish Council have a good band of volunteers who cut and edge the play park for the community.

It has come to my attention that the Parish council are giving a gift of £50(cash)for each worker total of £150 for the work carried out for the year.

Is this acceptable as they are volunteers as I understand no volunteers in whatever form should be paid in this way.

I look forward to your responses.

With Thanks DG
asked by (220 points)

3 Answers

0 votes
You don't really want to stray into this minefield and should have a policy regarding donations etc. The boundaries of employment and casual payments are feeding ground for lawyers and taxmen. By using the term volunteers denotes someone who gives their labour ( or skills) freely and without reward. Nothing stopping the council paying for, and erecting a commemorative notice or memorial in the park to these community minded people and advertising their efforts in council  newsletters and web site. Having known many volunteers oven my extensive years the last thing they want is money for their gift to their community.

Of course you must also take into consideration the council's liability insurance for these people who are working with the council's consent on presumably council land!
answered by (6.7k points)
edited by
0 votes
Mentorman is correct its a minefield. Any volunteer has to be covered by insurance, training and all equipment has to be pat tested and cleared, plus the user has to be trained in using the equipment.

Sadly there is a culture of where there is blame there is a claim and with no risk assessments, scheme of work etc people become vulnerable.
answered by (4k points)
Don't I know this . The problem is that if you insist on compliance to any Volunteer Policy  most of the work needed doesn't get done.   But we have one official group and the PC has created a budget for refreshments.   I gave up volunteering  when I had to complete a risk assessment for digging a hole to put a post in.  I contacted my DC's H and S team who said I could complete a method statement by the PROW section refused and said no has to be a  RA
0 votes
The HMRC guidance on payments to volunteers states:

"Genuine volunteers do not expect, and are not entitled to receive, any monetary payments or benefits in kind for their volunteering duties. Any payments made to volunteers (particularly if they are made regularly), expenses greater than can be realistically incurred, or entitlement to benefits in kind could indicate that the person is not a volunteer, even if they think they are, but is actually a worker and will be entitled to the national minimum wage.

However, a genuine “honorarium” (a gift of money) in the form of a one-off gift which the volunteer had not expected to receive, with no obligation and of a reasonable amount is not likely to give the volunteer the right to the minimum wage."

So a one-off payment should be OK, but annual may not be.
answered by (26.3k points)

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