Guide published to avoiding job substitution

Volunteering England, in partnership with Locality, Navca and NCVO has published A Guide to Avoiding Job Substitution, explaining how VCS organisations should manage situations so that volunteers do not, or are not perceived to, take on roles previously done by paid members of staff.

Job substitution is when volunteers replace paid members of staff. It can occurs when jobs are cut and volunteers are recruited to fill gaps or when an organisation withdraws a service and community volunteers offer to run it.

The guide reminds organisations of the Volunteering England and Trade Union Congress charter for strengthening relations between paid staff and volunteers, including that the involvement of volunteers should complement and supplement the work of paid staff, but that they should not displace paid staff or undercut their pay and conditions of service.

The guidance recommends that VCS organisations consult with trade unions, staff and the community about volunteer involvement, create a volunteering policy and agree the roles and responsibilities of volunteers. It also suggests taking steps to encourage working relationships between staff and volunteers.

To download the guide visit