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sarahc

Government Cutbacks

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I'll not go down the road of right or wrong. All I would suggest is that if any member of the public that wishes to volunteer for this kind of work with the school should check first to ensure that there is adequate insurance in place with the school for volunteers.

 

I've read the comment by Pragmatopian "although I would imagine that the type of people who would volunteer to help paint their community's school would not be 'where there's blame there's a claim' filth." But this could be a different situation if someone was to fall off a step ladder whilst painting a classroom and suffer an injury that prevented them from being able to work at their own employment and be able to buy things such as their children's school uniform.

 

The point I would like to make is feel free to volunteer but please check that adequate insurance is in place beforehand. Some employers' liability policies exclude volunteers and it would be difficult to argue that it should be covered by the public liability insurance if you were being "used" / "employed" on a volunteer basis (without pay!) If there is a public liability policy in place which is not a compulsory insurance such as employers liabilty.

 

This advice would also apply to the school because they could find themselves faced with a personal injury claim. Just because there isn't an insurance policy in place does not mean that they would not be liable for any injuries or subsequent claims.

 

Stav.

 

No doubt your advice is sound from a legalistic point of view - but what a sad and sorry state the Anglo-centric world is in.

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Are you sure about that Stav? I would have thought this would not be covered by any employers' liability policy as that is a statutory insurance to cover the employers' liability to his employees. Volunteers are, patently, not employees. More likely to be covered under public liability or occupiers liability insurance. Either way, you are right, you should check.

 

Gladys,

 

The problem with this is that volunteers are working for an organisation and whilst they could be unpaid volunteers, a duty of care is still owed to them by the organisation that they are working for. They are conducting work / performing a service and are not considered third parties. Public liability is not a compulsory insurance and they would not be obliged to purchase this cover if they didn't want too. Employers Liability Insurance is a compulsory insurance i.e. a legal requirement like motor insurance etc.

 

A common definition of an employee often extends to include any authorised voluntary worker while engaged in the performance of honorary duties on behalf of and with the consent of the insured.

 

My point of argument is not necessarily only for the protection of the volunteer parents, I believe that the school should ensure that they have adequate protection to cover the possible scenario that a volunteer is injured and then wants to make a claim. It could end up costing the school a lot more than the price of a few tins of paint.

 

As I said, I don't want to go along the route of which is right or wrong for the parents, painters and decorators or the school. I would only advise everyone involved to ensure that there is the right protection in case anything did happen.

 

In an ideal world, claims of this nature would not be made but leaving the possibility open to chance would just plain stupid and naive. The law would typically be on the side of the volunteer as they were the ones that stood to lose the most whilst performing a service for the organisation / school.

 

Stav.

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Plenty of idol hands in need of a paint brush in St George's Court.... Judging by the amount SPAM that emanates from there

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