Voluntary Workers: At A Glance

Voluntary Workers: At A Glance

Even before COVID-19 impacted us all, Owners Corporations would be, from time-to-time, looking for ways to save some money. This often was in the form of residents volunteering to complete simple tasks around the property.

Lately, we have received an increased number of enquiries relating to the cover afforded by a strata insurance policy for Voluntary Workers.

The Voluntary Workers section of the policy exists to provide limited monetary benefits if a voluntary worker dies or suffers a serious injury (as a result of an accident) while carrying out their voluntary work on behalf of the Owners Corporation (OC).

The voluntary worker must not receive any payment, gift, or promise of reward. If any form of reimbursement is provided, the worker will not be able to claim under the policy.

The coverage generally only applies to death, or serious injury which has had a significant impact on quality of life*.

Owners Corporations must decide whether it is worth the risk to engage a volunteer to complete the projects. If the Owners Corporation does engage in voluntary work, they MUST:

  • Check whether the work is restricted, by requiring a licenced tradesperson to do it, e.g. specialist works such as electrical wiring, gas works, plumbing, air-conditioning maintenance.
  • Check the Owners Corporation’s by-laws for any limitations to work undertaken by volunteers.
  • Obtain pre-approval from the Owners Corporation and have the volunteer’s name and type of work noted in the official records.
  • NOT make or obtain payment of any kind.
  • Have insurance to cover their potential liability in respect of volunteer workers.

Sometimes the smart alternative is to engage professional contractors who maintains their own insurance policy.

For more information, or to discuss specific circumstances OC’s should contact their strata manager or insurance broker.

* refer to the Table of Benefits found in your Strata Insurance policy wording


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