Employment & Volunteering

These are key areas for equality in voluntary sector organisations.  There are many and complex issues, especially in employment, which is the largest area dealt with in the Equality Act 2010.   Equality law applies across all protected characteristics in employment and it applies to the whole employment process from recruitment, retention, employment, training & development right up to “exit” of staff, including subsequent references.  It is strongly recommended that all organisations research their responsibilities in this area using appropriate guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Equalities issues impact all of these areas of employment (and more):

  • Recruitment, selection and promotion
  • Storage of personal data (including equalities monitoring data)
  • Support and supervision / performance management
  • Absence management
  • Working time / flexible working
  • Pay and other terms and conditions
  • Access to benefits (including pensions)
  • Training and personal development
  • Dignity at work
  • Grievances
  • Disciplinary action
  • Redundancy and dismissal
  • References


Most volunteers are not protected by the Equality Act 2010; however they still deserve to be treated with dignity and equality. Issues to consider include:

  • Equality in recruitment, retention and training
  • Treating volunteers with dignity and valuing the contributions they make
  • Being clear on volunteer rights and responsibilities

Contact your local Volunteer Centre for information on volunteering agreements and other volunteering issues.

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