Volunteering and the Law


Volunteering and the Law

Organizations that engage volunteers have specific legal and moral obligations to their community, clients, staff and volunteers. Are volunteers treated as paid employees, under specific laws? Do organizations have the same obligations to volunteers as employers do to paid employees? Volunteer screening is one example of an obligation that applies to all those involved in an organization, regardless of their employment status. Volunteer screening policies aim to better match people and organizations. These policies are put in place to improve the safety and quality of community services. They are also meant to reduce risks and liability for all parties.

Where do organizations go to find out what the law requires them to do? In our 2012 Edition of the Screening Handbook, 'Appendix A – Legislative Profiles' breaks down public legislation by each province and territory.

The regulatory framework for Canadian non-profit and charitable organizations is complex, as illustrated below.


2012 Edition of the Screening Handbook — This resource outlines best practices for volunteer screening. The handbook details the obligations of organizations in terms of minimizing risk and liability through screening practices.