|Document issuer||Parliament of Georgia|
|Date of issuing||24/12/2015|
|Document type||Law of Georgia|
|Source and date of publishing||Website, 30/12/2015|
Initial version (30/12/2015 - 01/12/2016)
LAW OF GEORGIA
Article 1 - Scope of the Law
1. This Law regulates relations between volunteers and host organisations and their relations with third parties within Georgia, unless these relations are otherwise regulated by the international agreements of Georgia.
2. Volunteer relations that are not regulated by this Law, or other special laws, are regulated by other legislative and subordinate normative acts of Georgia.
3. Volunteer relations, where one party is a political union, are regulated by the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens.
Article 2 – Volunteering
1. Volunteering is a socially useful activity voluntarily and gratuitously performed by natural persons, using their knowledge and skills, under organised conditions in accordance with this Law.
2. For the purposes of this Law, a socially useful activity is an activity that involves the provision of assistance to a legal person engaged in any of the fields listed below: protection of human rights, democracy, development of civil society and mass media, education, science, culture and art, poverty reduction and social security, healthcare, protection of the environment, youth and children's issues, gender issues, conflict resolution, support to refugees and internally displaced persons, migration, promotion of business and economy, support of agricultural development, physical education and sports, protection of animal rights, civil security emergency response and fields related to the preparation of the population for such emergencies.
3. This Law shall not preclude other natural persons from performing a socially useful activity, independently, outside the organised conditions determined by this Law. This Law shall not apply to such persons.
Article 3 - Volunteer relations and parties
1. Volunteer relations are relations between a volunteer and a host organisation, which are maintained in accordance with an agreement reached under this Law and the free will of the parties.
2. A volunteer may be a natural person who has attained the age of 16.
3. Minors aged below 16 may be engaged in volunteer relations only with the consent of their legal representative or the consent of a guardianship or custodianship authority, unless the volunteering relations conflict with the minors’ best interests, or prejudice their moral, physical and mental development, or restrict their right and opportunity to acquire compulsory primary and basic education.
4. A natural person shall reserve the unemployed status during the performance of volunteering activities, and he/she shall enjoy the right to benefits and allowances provided for by the legislation of Georgia for unemployed persons.
5. Volunteer relations may not be used for evading labour relations.
6. A host organisation may be:
a) a resident or a non-resident non-entrepreneurial (non-commercial) legal person or its branch;
b) a legal entity under public law determined by the Law of Georgia on Legal Entities Under Public Law;
c) an authorised educational institution, irrespective of its organisational and legal form;
d) a medical institution, irrespective of its organisational and legal form;
e) an international organisation, its representation or branch;
f) a local self-government body.
Article 4 – Rights and obligations of volunteers and host organisations
1. A volunteer shall be obliged to:
a) perform his/her activities in accordance with legal and ethical principles and the agreement entered into with the host organisation;
b) in a timely manner, inform the host organisation of any threats and risks that may arise in the performance of the activities envisaged in the agreement entered into with the host organisation;
c) take care of the property of the host organisation that he/she uses during the performance of his/her activities;
d) in a timely manner, inform the host organisation of any illness or other circumstances which preclude him/her from performing the activities envisaged in the agreement entered into with the host organisation.
2. This Law shall not restrict the right of volunteers to enjoy those rights and freedoms that are provided for by the legislation of Georgia.
3. The host organisation shall inform the volunteer of the rights and obligations provided for by this Law before entering into volunteer relations with him/her.
Article 5 – Compensation for expenses incurred in the performance of volunteering activities
1. Upon the request of a volunteer, the host organisation shall compensate him/her for necessary expenses incurred by him/her in the performance of volunteering activities, including:
a) expenses for consular services (visa processing, extensions);
b) travel expenses;
c) accommodation rental (booking and living) expenses;
d) food, communications and general daily expenses.
2. A volunteer is authorised to use the host organisation’s property during the performance of the activities envisaged in his/her agreement with the host organisation.
3. The host organisation is authorised to take care of the professional development of volunteers.
4. Compensation for the expenses specified in paragraph 1 of this article shall not change the gratuitous nature of the volunteering relationship.
Article 6 – Ensuring volunteers’ safety
1. The host organisation shall provide volunteers with a safe environment during the performance of volunteering activities.
2. The host organisation shall, within a reasonable timeframe and in an understandable form, provide a volunteer with full and objective information on all factors which might affect the volunteer’s life and health.
3. The host organisation shall implement a preventive system to ensure volunteers’ safety, and, in a timely manner, shall provide volunteers with relevant information about safety-related risks and measures for preventing such risks, as well as information about rules for handling dangerous equipment and, if necessary, shall provide volunteers with personal protective equipment and take all other reasonable steps to ensure volunteers’ safety and the protection of their life and health.
4. The host organisation shall compensate volunteers for any harm caused by the deterioration of their health in the course of performing volunteering activities, and for the necessary costs of treatment. The conditions for providing compensation are determined by the Civil Code of Georgia.
Article 7 – Liability of the host organisation
1. The host organisation shall compensate any damage to a third party caused by a volunteer’s unlawful actions during the performance of volunteering activities. The host organisation shall not be held liable if the volunteer acted without fault, except as provided for by law.
2. The nature and conditions of the liability of the host organisation are determined by the civil legislation of Georgia, unless otherwise determined by this Law.
Article 8 – Volunteer agreements
1. A volunteer agreement (‘the Agreement’) may be oral or written, and either fixed-term or for the term of the voluntary service. The Agreement must be in written form if volunteer relations last for more than one month.
2. The Agreement shall be concluded in a language understandable to the parties. The Agreement may be concluded in several languages. If the Agreement is concluded in several languages, it must contain a clause specifying the language of the Agreement that will prevail in the event of a discrepancy between provisions of different versions of the Agreement.
3. The Agreement shall determine the nature of the activities to be performed by the volunteer, the duration and place of their performance, and, if any, the benefits related to volunteer status, as well as the rights and obligations of the parties.
4. The following shall be grounds for terminating volunteer agreements:
a) the expiration of the Agreement;
b) completion by the volunteer of the work stipulated under the Agreement;
c) gross violation of the conditions of the Agreement by one of the parties;
d) agreement between the parties;
e) the initiation of liquidation proceedings by the host organisation;
f) death of the volunteer;
g) other circumstances that make it impossible for the volunteer to perform the activities envisaged in the Agreement.
5. At the request of a volunteer, the host organisation shall issue a volunteer certificate, which includes the details of the work performed by the volunteer and the duration of the voluntary service.
Article 9 - Working hours of volunteers
1. The duration of the working hours shall be determined by agreement between the parties and shall be indicated in the Agreement.
2. The duration of the working hours for volunteers from 16 to 18 years of age shall not exceed 36 hours a week.
Article 10 - Entry into force of the Law
This Law shall enter into force upon its promulgation.
President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili
24 December 2015