Am I allowed to do voluntary work?

Important! If you have no legal residence, you may not carry out voluntary work for an organisation. You will not be punished for voluntary work. But the organisation you’re doing voluntary work for may be penalised.

At present, there is a policy of tolerance. This means that organisations who have volunteers with no legal residence are not being prosecuted. There is no guarantee of this, of course. This policy of tolerance may be revoked at any time and the organisation may still be prosecuted.

If you do work as a volunteer for an organisation, all valid legislation applying to volunteers applies to you too. You must be given an information note, you need insurance, etc.

Voluntary work without a subordinate relationship

Legally, a person without legal residence is permitted to carry out voluntary work as long as there is no ‘subordinate relationship’. This means there is no-one telling the volunteer what they have to do.

However, we have not been able to any voluntary work whatsoever find any voluntary work where there is no discussion about whether or not there is a ‘subordinate relationship’. So legally, this condition may be met, but in practice it is unclear, or at the least uncertain, what might be included in this kind of voluntary work.

Calling something voluntary work does not mean that it will be regarded as voluntary work. If you do the same work in an organisation as someone else who gets paid to do it, this will not be regarded as voluntary work. You do not get paid for voluntary work.