Volunteers can be utilised to perform a range of different activities at an event and for many event organisers they are an integral part to ensure the sustainability of their event.

Volunteer roles may include:

  • Ticket sales
  • Registration
  • Gift bags
  • Runners
  • Information

Workplace health and safety and insurance for volunteers

For the purposes of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, a person is a volunteer if they undertake work for an organisation without being paid a wage or salary.

They may, however, be reimbursed for any out of pocket expenses they incur directly while carrying out the volunteer work. Out of pocket expenses do not include loss of wages or salary while carrying out the volunteer work. Any payment over and above direct expenses would mean that the person was not a volunteer for purposes of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

The Work Health & Safety Act 2011 requires organisations to organise personal accident and public liability insurance on behalf of their volunteer, it’s not the duty of the volunteer.  For more information visit Worksafe Queensland.

Event organisations involving volunteers should seek professional advice in determining what cover is available and most appropriate for their needs. It is also important to review your policies regularly and inform your insurance broker of any new or unusual activities your organisation or your volunteers are participating in to ensure adequate insurance coverage.

Consider Public liability insurance and volunteer personal accident insurance. Public liability insurance generally covers anybody other than employees who come into contact with the organisation. This should include volunteers, covering them against loss or injury caused by negligence of the organisation if they are not covered under the employer’s liability insurance.

Information relating to your insurance cover can be included in terms and conditions for volunteers, or be assessable if requested by your volunteers.

How to attract volunteers

  • Consider setting an age limit that includes younger people trying to gain experience (e.g. 16 years or older)
  • Have incentives for your volunteers (e.g. free event t-shirt, food vouchers or catering, certificate of participation)
  • Offer free entry and an opportunity for your volunteer to enjoy the event when duties are complete (Note: volunteers are still required to be provided with appropriate break times like a paid worker would)