A volunteer association is a group of volunteers working together for one or more community purpose, where none of the volunteers, nor the association as a whole, employs anyone to carry out work for them. Community purposes could include the promotion of art, culture, science, religion, education, medicine, or for charity, sport or recreation purposes.

A volunteer association also means a group of volunteers (whether incorporated or unincorporated) working together for one or more community purposes where none of the volunteers, whether alone or jointly with any other volunteers, employs any person to carry out work for the volunteer association. Volunteer groups that meet the definition of ‘volunteer associations’ are not PCBUs.

Example: community committees/ boards/ halls directly working for the Selwyn District Council in a voluntary capacity.

Is a Volunteer Association a PCBU if it is run by Volunteers?

If an organisation falls within the definition of a volunteer association, then it is not a PCBU.

Whether the volunteers meet the test of a ‘volunteer worker’ or not is irrelevant. You can only have a volunteer worker if you are defined as a PCBU under the Health & Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA).

What does it mean for a Volunteer Association to 'employ' a person?

The term means employing as an employee, as opposed to engaging as a contractor.

HSWA does not define ‘employ’ but it does define ‘employee’. That definition refers to the Employment Relations Act 2000 and means ‘any person of any age employed by an employer to do any work for hire or reward under a contract of service’.

If a volunteer association (or any of its members) instead only ‘engages’ an individual to work for the association under a contract for service (i.e. a ‘contractor’), then it would still be a volunteer association and not a PCBU.

Will there be Safe Work Practices for the Council's Community Committees/ boards and halls that work directly for the Council and their local communities?

Yes, these are currently be reviewed and will be released when approved for Council operated community buildings/ facilities, reserves and committees.