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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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The following paragraph ends a volunteer agreement we have

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The following paragraph ends a volunteer agreement we have with someone. If she chose to claim we had a contract at any point is this legally binding?
'This agreement is not a legally binding contract between us and may be
cancelled at any time at the discretion of either party. Neither of us intends any
employment relationship to be created, either now or at any time in the future.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Was this provided to the volunteer at the start of their work with you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, it was created because she was behaving in a negative and unhelpful manner, which is now escalating

Hi there. Thank you for your request for a phone call. I am unable to talk at the moment but I will review the relevant information and laws and get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message after you have provided the information as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK thanks

No problem at all

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is a small charity and we have had to feel our way with this one because she does suffer from mental illness, which obviously flares up and makes her very vindictive and intimidating. She recenly asked if she could bring her dog with her and was told we have a no dog policy as we are an outdoor centre for children. This elicited a torrent of insults, threats etc one of which is to close us down because of disability discrimination. I understand volunteers are not covered by discrimination law. The dog is in no way relevant to her ability to work here

OK thank you. Leave it with me and I will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. Many thanks

Many thanks for your patience. The simple inclusion of this wording does not guarantee that there is no contract between you and the other person. Their rights will mainly be defined by how they are treated and the reality of the situation rather than a sentence in their contract. Of course if the reality is that she is treated as a volunteer and there are no indications that she was treated as a worker or employee in any way then such a statement can support this and strengthen your argument that there was just a volunteer situation place and that no contractual relations were created between you. Only a court can decide whether that was the case though so if she wanted to challenge it she will have to take it to court and prove that there were elements in the overall relationship that consistently meant she was treated differently to a volunteer, akin to someone who is an employee. So in summary such a clause can be helpful if it reflects reality, but it is by no means a bulletproof clause to guarantee that there is no contract in place.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.

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