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Managing people

Find out key legal obligations to your employees, volunteers and members.

Content last updated 27/09/2023

Managing people

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Not-for-profit organisations have the same legal obligations as any employer to their workers.

Our resources on employment law are designed to help organisations understand the legal framework and identify issues when they arise.

Employment law is complex and it changes sometimes, so the information in these pages shouldn't replace advice from a lawyer who specialises in employment law. If your organisation suspects that it has an employment issue, it's best to seek specialist advice as soon as possible.


As the impact of COVID-19 on the Australian community evolves, organisations may continue to face workplace challenges. For example, managing issues related to COVID-19 vaccinations, employee sickness and attending the workplace. See the Fair Work Ombudsman webpage 'COVID-19 and workplace laws' for more information.

Employee, contractor or volunteer?

At times, it can be difficult to assess if someone at your organisation would be considered an 'employee'. As this can be complex, it can be a good idea to get legal advice.

Our guide can help you assess whether employment laws apply.

The guide includes information about:

  • differences in law between volunteers, employees and independent contractors
  • legal obligations community organisations owe to different types of workers, and
  • some of the consequences of wrongly classifying a worker
Employee contractor or volunteer

Consumer representatives

A consumer representative is engaged by an organisation to provide independent advice on the organisation’s goods or services. Depending on the circumstances, a consumer representative may be a volunteer, employee or an independent contractor.

Our guide on payments to consumer representatives includes information about:

  • what a consumer representative is
  • legal issues that arise when making payments to consumer representatives, and
  • what your organisation should make consumer representatives aware of when engaging them

Payments to consumer representatives

The content on this webpage was last updated in September 2022 and is not legal advice. See full disclaimer and copyright notice.

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