Taken into account According to English law, each contract requires some form of consideration. The consideration is not limited to the payment of cash or wages. A consideration is any benefit (of the beneficiary) or any disadvantage or cost incurred by the delivery party. This broad definition covers many things that are regularly made available to volunteers, for example. B services such as free entry, free or reduced use of services, discounts on sales, training. The area of spending is potentially burdensome. It is not envisaged to reimburse a volunteer for the costs incurred. However, our experience is that expenses are sometimes used to reward volunteers. In some organizations, instead of actual travel expenses, a standardized travel package is paid, the difference between actual travel expenses and a higher payment is a consideration. A wide range of payments is not required to support a contract, such as actual ex gratia payments.
However, the law on these payments is complex. An employment tribunal has accepted, in a high-level case involving the Coast Guard, that in circumstances where the rest of the relationship clearly states that these are not employment wages, fairly large regular payments can be made. In that case [Milton and Another v. Department of Transport COIT 5086/44], the Tribunal indicated that the nature and organization of the Auxiliary Coast Guard meant that the payments were in fact compensation and not a payment for the work done. The line between a true volunteer and an employee is difficult to assess. This judgment is further complicated by the fact that the regulatory authorities, the labour court, the Inland Revenue, the Health and Safety Act, the National Insurance Rules draw the border in different ways. In a key case where this was an action against Relate before the labour tribunal, a “volunteer” found that the relationship between her and the voluntary organization was not voluntary, but a relationship in which an employment contract was entered into. The “volunteer” claimed racial discrimination [Maria De Lourdes Armitage v.Relate e.a. Case 43538/94, Reference Book 9/272/037].
In this case, the “volunteer” had applied for the consulting activity. Relate clearly expected high standards from its consultants and developed an agreement with detailed commitments. Relate agreed to provide and pay for a training program and the advisor agreed to offer voluntary advice. There was also the possibility of paid consulting work. There was no salary or salary, but the court found that the offer of training in return for the provision of consulting meetings with the other conditions amounted to an employment contract.