The Paid vs. Volunteer Dilemma: Pros and Cons of Compensating Committee Members

Body Corporate Committees play a pivotal role in the management and maintenance of multi-unit developments. These committees are often comprised of dedicated volunteers who selflessly dedicate their time and expertise to ensure the smooth functioning of the community. However, the question arises: Should these committee members be compensated for their valuable contributions, or is their voluntary service more advantageous in the long run?

In this article, we will delve into the pros and cons of paying Body Corporate Committee members in Queensland.

Pros of Paying Body Corporate Committee Members

  1. Increased Commitment and Accountability: Offering monetary compensation can attract individuals with higher dedication levels. Paid committee members may feel more obligated to fulfil their duties professionally, as they are now considered as employees with defined responsibilities.
  2. Time and Expertise: Monetary incentives might entice professionals who possess specialised skills and knowledge in property management, finance, or law to join the committee. This influx of expertise can significantly benefit the decision-making process.
  3. Diverse Representation: Paying committee members can create opportunities for individuals from diverse backgrounds to participate, as the financial aspect may remove potential barriers preventing them from volunteering.
  4. Reduced Turnover: Compensation can help retain experienced members who might otherwise step down due to time constraints or competing priorities. A stable committee ensures consistency in decision-making and long-term planning.
  5. Heightened Performance: Motivated by financial rewards, paid committee members may be more inclined to go the extra mile and demonstrate a higher level of diligence in managing the property.


Cons of Paying Body Corporate Committee Members

  1. Financial Burden on Owners: Paying committee members means allocating a portion of the budget for their remuneration, which ultimately comes from the owners’ contributions. This might lead to increased levies or reduced funds for maintenance and improvements.
  2. Conflicts of Interest: Monetary compensation may create conflicts of interest, as committee members might prioritise their personal financial gains over the best interests of the community.
  3. Diminished Volunteer Spirit: Introducing payment might deter genuine volunteers who are passionate about their community but cannot be incentivised by money.
  4. Perception of Favouritism: Paying committee members may lead to perceptions of favouritism or divisions among owners who might question the justification of certain individuals receiving compensation.
  5. Legal Implications: The inclusion of paid committee members could introduce employment-related legal obligations, such as workers’ compensation, superannuation, or employee rights.


The decision to pay Body Corporate Committee members in Queensland involves a careful consideration of the advantages and disadvantages. While compensation may attract professionals and ensure heightened accountability, it also poses financial, ethical, and legal challenges.

Ultimately, the choice should reflect the specific needs and dynamics of each body corporate community. A hybrid approach could be a viable compromise, where some positions are compensated while others remain voluntary. This way, the benefits of both models can be harnessed without compromising the community’s overall well-being.

The focus should always remain on promoting transparency, inclusivity, and effective governance within the body corporate, ensuring that decisions align with the collective interests of the owners and the smooth functioning of their shared property.


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