The Volunteering Act clearly defines what volunteering entails.
In plain language: volunteers give a part of their time to an organization of their own free will, unpaid. We speak of volunteering when:
Volunteering is only allowed when you are 15 years old and you have completed the first 2 years of secondary education. If not, you have to wait until you are 16. Having the Belgian nationality is not a requirement. All people from the European Union, people with a valid residence permit and certain asylum seekers are allowed to volunteer without any problems. Some volunteers do have a notification obligation because they receive a replacement income. As an organization you can help them with this.
Beware! There are special rules for individuals with different statutes!
As a volunteer you are always insured against civil liability.
The organization is therefore liable for damage caused by volunteers towards third parties, both during the activity and en route. As a volunteer you can therefore in principle not be held responsible.
The organization can, but is not obliged, take out other insurance for the volunteer, such as insurance for physical accidents or legal assistance.
Be sure to ask about this before you start working as a volunteer.
Organizations themselves decide whether to reimburse the costs of their volunteers. Volunteers are not automatically entitled to it. The expense allowance compensates only for costs made. It is not an income: paid volunteers do not exist.
There are different types of cost compensations: no compensation, the fixed cost compensation and the real cost compensation.
One volunteer can not combine different systems in the same year. It is important that organizations inform volunteers about the system they use.
More information can be found on the website of the Vlaams Steunpunt Vrijwilligerswerk (Dutch only).
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