Expenses caution to voluntary providers

Posted on June 1st, by editor in Caring Times. No Comments

A lawyer who specialises in employment law has warned charities and voluntary organisations against paying volunteer helpers flat rate expenses. Alison Love, a partner with Welsh legal firm Hugh James Ford Simey, said a recent tribunal decision held that flat rate payments were in fact salary and therefore the volunteer worker was an “employee” with employment protection and discrimination rights. Ms Love says the decision will also impact on the minimum wage legislation introduced four months ago. “The national minimum wage legislation specifically provides that volunteers need not be paid the national minimum wage if they receive reasonable expenses and benefits in kind,” Ms Love said. “The recent decision illustrates that tribunals will look at the realities of the situation. The exclusion will only apply where the payments are for factual expenses incurred rather than a flat rate which bears no relation to actual expenses. “My advice to voluntary organisations and their volunteer helpers is not to panic b

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