volunteer vs employee
What makes someone an employee? One of our clients recently approached us for some advice on whether a family friend who’d offered to help on the farm should be treated as an employee, or whether they were in fact just a volunteer.
It can be pretty easy to blur the lines between volunteer and employee, particularly when personal relationships are involved. This can be a fairly contentious topic, particularly if there is a difference of opinion about which status should apply.
The best way to determine what makes someone an employee is to ask yourself these 3 things:
1. Is there an expectation of payment?
– is the person working for you for a regular wage and therefore keeping careful calculation of their hours worked so they can be remunerated for it?
– have dollars been discussed and agreed?
2. Is there any regularity or consistency to the work performed and an expectation the tasks will be done?
– do you know if and when the person will be undertaking the work?
– do they have to notify you if they can or can’t do the work?
3. Is the work being performed critical to the running of the business?
– what if they couldn’t do the work??
– do they need to be replaced by someone else if they’re unavailable to do the work?
If you answer yes to more than one of these questions, it looks like they may classify as an employee.
In those circumstances, I would be wary of continuing the arrangement without getting a formalised employment agreement in place to clarify the situation and protect both parties.
Tags: hr policies