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Employing Staff

Updated 25/11/13

Follow the trail

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Elsewhere

Offering or seeking employment

Use our Work Opportunities pages to place or find job ads. We also give details of other voluntary sector job sites, and a listings page of specialist recruitment agencies.

Intro

For many organisations recruiting their first paid worker after relying on volunteer effort, the positive buzz is undermined by not just having to come to terms with new management issues but also all the regulations and issues around employing staff. Some voluntary organisations think these only apply to commercial bodies and ignore, others try to apply the approach of large corporations (where trustees might work) resulting in overkill.

There are get outs on some regulations for smaller concerns, but you should always check (and also consider whether in best practice terms or because of the number of volunteers you should respect them anyway).

Workforce resources on NCVO website, or see Skills Third Sector for skills development.

Trades Unions, Associations

Some parts of the sector are heavily unionised, while elsewhere they don't seem to have heard of them. Employers can't use them as information sources directly, but staff who are members can often get some useful general briefings for free. Unions with dedicated voluntary sector branches include:

Terms and Conditions, Industrial relations

Employment Contracts and Policies

The Policies Checklist we have compiled will flag up some issues you need to consider, such as Disciplinary and Grievance, Time Off in Lieu, Redundancy, Retirement. There are certain legal requirements to any employment contract. These include issuing a written 'statement of employment particulars' within 2 months of starting (sooner if working abroad), for any employee working longer than a month, with no minimum working hours. It must include names, start date, salary, hours and place of work, holidays. This or other documents must cover sick pay, pensions, length of contract if not permanent, any collective agreements.

Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures. Advisory handbook from ACAS online (or order in print) from their publications website.

NCVO will send you model standard and fixed term employment contracts if you send an sae to the Helpdesk, NCVO, Regent's Wharf, 8 All Saints Street, London, N1 9RL (helpdesk phone 0800 2798 798).

Valuing the Voluntary Sector - Quality Conditions for Quality Services was a campaign from TGWU, September 2005, which included a charter of rights for people working in voluntary organisations. No longer running, but check Unite campaigns pages.

A Guide to Good Employment, produced by Northern Ireland sector support body NICVA, can be downloaded for free in pdf format. While much of the human resources guidance will be common across the UK, do note that some legal requirements differ.

Please take legal advice or consult a support body for more guidance - we can't give definitive information here due to the breadth of the subject and range of organisations who might be reading this.

Sources of Advice

Work as part of life

How far work should be allowed to dominate an individual's life is increasing in importance as an issue in the sector. Why should relationships and social life suffer because of your work being so crucial? Isn't it better for all (including performance at work) to strike a fair balance? These are some of the questions you can investigate further via the following links:

Note that certain, basic, legal requirements on flexible working were introduced from April '03. See most of the above for details, or our Employment Regulations section.

Homeworking