Letting Go of Volunteers Procedure

There may be circumstances when Volunteers Network CIC considers it necessary to ask a volunteer to leave. This policy suggests the circumstances and measures for dealing with this.

The steps below in this policy will be taken in instances such as these (this is not an exhaustive list):

• theft of property belonging to the organisation, another volunteer, member of staff or service user
• acts of violence towards another volunteer, member of staff or service user
• malicious damage to property belonging to the organisation, volunteers, staff or service users
• deliberate falsification of expenses claims
• breach of the organisation’s policies and procedures, especially those concerning confidentiality and health and safety
• criminal convictions which affect the volunteer’s suitability for a role
• the provision of false information or failure to disclose information relevant to their suitability for a role
• poor performance
• poor attendance
• inappropriate behaviour

Please note that criminal proceedings may also be brought against a volunteer by the injured party in some of these cases.

Investigation

Volunteers Network CIC is committed to thoroughly investigating all concerns, complaints and allegations about volunteers and their work. In the event of a complaint, the Project Coordinator will:

• consider all concerns raised, complaints and allegations made through the appropriate channels, i.e. the organisation’s complaints procedure or concerns raised in management and supervision meetings.
• only in exceptional circumstances, investigate complaints made anonymously
• identify the facts of the matter, through discussion with the volunteer and other relevant parties, to determine whether there is any cause to continue with the steps outlined below

Exploring Alternatives

When dealing with below standard work, inappropriate conduct or a complaint made against a volunteer, the Project Coordinator will first look at alternatives to asking a volunteer to leave the organisation.

Supervision and support – does the volunteer fully understand the rules or procedures of the organisation? The Project Coordinator will review the support and supervision of the volunteer to ensure that:

• the volunteer understands how they should fulfil their role
• the volunteer understands what is appropriate and inappropriate behaviour
• the volunteer has all the information they need to perform their duties to the required standards
• any problems identified can be resolved

Different role within our organisation – the Project Coordinator will assess the volunteer’s role in relation to the volunteer’s strengths, needs and motivations and, if necessary, assign the volunteer to a new, more suitable role.

Training – the Project Coordinator will assess the knowledge and skills required for their role and will arrange further training to address any gaps in knowledge.

Referral – the Project Coordinator will assess whether the volunteer is more suited to working in another voluntary organisation and will work with them to find them an alternative role.

Retirement – the Project Coordinator will assess the volunteer’s ability to continue volunteering with the organisation, looking at the physical and mental requirements of the role as well as health and safety issues. In agreement with the volunteer, the Project Coordinator will explore whether there are alternative possibilities such as working from home in a different role. If this is not possible, the Project Coordinator may ask a volunteer to retire from their work with the organisation.

Where none of the above alternatives are suitable in the circumstances or are unsuccessful, the Project Coordinator will proceed with the following steps.

Initial warning
The Project Coordinator may give the volunteer an informal warning to improve performance or conduct. The warning will be noted in the volunteer’s personnel file. The volunteer’s performance or conduct will be reviewed in a supervision session to be held not more than one month after the initial warning is given.

Second warning
If, following the review outlined above, the volunteer’s performance or conduct is still found to be below standard, the Project Coordinator will give a second warning. This will be noted in the volunteer’s personnel file. The Project Coordinator will ask the volunteer to commit to set, measurable targets in order to help them to improve their performance or behaviour. These will be reviewed in a supervision session to be held no more than one month after the second warning is given.

Final warning
If, following the review outlined above, the volunteer’s performance or conduct is found to be below standard, the Project Coordinator will give a final warning. This will be noted in the volunteer’s personnel file. The Project Coordinator will set measurable targets in order to monitor the volunteer’s progress. These will be reviewed in a supervision session to be held no more than one month after the final warning is given. If no improvement is found to have been made at the time of the review, the volunteer may be asked to leave the Volunteers Network CIC.

Leaving Volunteers Network CIC
The Project Coordinator will convey the decision to ask the volunteer to leave the organisation by holding a private meeting with the volunteer. The meeting will be followed up with a letter re-iterating the decision and providing information on any arrangements for leaving. The Project Coordinator will inform the organisation’s staff and volunteers of the decision.
If the volunteer wishes to continue volunteering, they will be helped to find a suitable alternative role.

Implementation and Quality Assurance

Implementation is immediate and this Policy shall stay in force until any alterations are formally agreed by Directors. This Policy will be reviewed annually by the Directors, sooner if legislation, best practice or other circumstances indicate this is necessary.

All aspects of this Policy shall be open to review at any time. If you have any comments or suggestions on the content of this policy please contact Helen Burton, Director on 01323 381811 or eastbournevolunteers@gmail.com

Latest version updated 05/04/18