That was the ruling of the Court of Appeal in the case of a volunteer who worked for the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB). 

When the CAB told her it no longer wanted her services, she claimed it was discriminating against her because of her disability.

However, the Court of Appeal held that an unpaid volunteer could not be classed as an employee for the purposes of UK anti-discrimination law or European Union regulations. The protection could only extend to paid workers.

Lord Justice Elias said: “The concept of worker has been restricted to persons who are remunerated for what they do. The concept of occupation is essentially an overlapping one, and I see no reason to suppose that it was intended to cover non-remunerated work.”

Please contact Yunus Lunat if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of employment law.

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