Bates Wells Briefing for Charities & Social Enterprises | 1 November

Bates Wells highlights

Charities, Social Enterprise

The Charity Commission has published updated safeguarding guidance. For what’s new, see today’s Briefing.

Regulating Finance for a Greener Future – 26 November 2018 – Join BWB Compliance and others for a discussion on the Financial Conduct Authority’s recent discussion paper on climate change and green finance. See here for more details and to reserve your place.

At a glance

The Budget included several welcome tax announcements for charities.

Over 80 sector organisations have joined together to form the Brexit Civil Society Alliance.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has issued the maximum possible fine of £500,000 to Facebook for failing to protect users’ personal information.

Over 120 organisations have co-signed a letter to the Prime Minister about a crisis in children’s services

The Care Quality Commission has published a consultation on the fees that it proposes to charge providers in 2019/20.

Charity Commission


The Commission has published updated safeguarding guidance, entitled “Safeguarding and Protecting people for charities and trustees”. This piece of guidance replaces what was Annex 1 to the Charity Commission’s published strategy on dealing with safeguarding issues in charities (entitled “Trustees’ safeguarding duties explained”). This new guidance significantly reworks and is broader in its remit than the previous guidance, for example by covering working overseas and working with or making grants to other organisations as well as widening the scope of the guidance on getting checks on trustees, staff and volunteers and with a separate section on safeguarding children or adults at risk.

The Commission has published a blog, written by Jane Hobson, Head of Guidance and Practice, discussing the guidance which says that the new guidance has been subject to thorough user-testing in the sector.

Changes to the update charity details service

The Commission has announced that changes to the “Update your charity details” service will go live on 12 November and from that date all charities will be required to check and update their details before they can access the annual return. The Commission has published a guide to the information covered by the service which also sets out which information will be made available to the public.

Charity Fraud Awareness Week

The Commission has updated its news page about Charity Fraud Awareness Week, to add further materials, including the webinars and videos broadcast during the week.

Annual Return

The Commission has issued a reminder that the 2017 annual return deadline is approaching for charities with an accounting year ending in December.

Tax and VAT

Yesterday’s budget included welcome announcements that from April 2019 there will be increases to the small-scale charity trading exemption and the individual donation limit under the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme. For more detail about these and other changes affecting charities, see this Charity Tax Group briefing.


New sector Alliance

Over 80 sector organisations have joined together to form the Brexit Civil Society Alliance, which launched its website last week. It includes briefings about what Brexit means for its members. According to Civil Society Media, the group was originally set up as the Repeal Bill Alliance, but has changed its name now that the government’s legislation has become an act.


The Home Office has announced up to £9 million of grant funding to deliver practical assistance to vulnerable or at-risk EU citizens and their family members who need help completing their immigration status. Organisations can bid for funding via one of two lots, within the ranges of: £5,000 – £24,999 & £25,000 – £500,000. At this stage, the Home Office is inviting VCS organisations to take part in an engagement teleconference to disseminate information about the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and the Grant Scheme process and provide an opportunity for organisations to ask questions.

For more about the EU Settlement Scheme, see this article in BWB’s Autumn Newsletter.

Data Protection

ICO fines

The Information Commissioner’s Office has issued the maximum possible fine of £500,000 to Facebook for failing to protect users’ personal information.


Fundraising Regulator levy

See this blog by Dr Diarmuid McDonnell, Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, about whether the whether the reputational risk of ‘naming and shaming’ non-levy payers acted as an effective incentive for charities to pay the levy for fundraising regulation.


See under Children’s services and Creative and Culture.

Children’s services

Over 120 organisations have co-signed a letter to the Prime Minister citing compelling evidence that services and support for children and young people are at breaking point. The evidence includes that:

  • Ninety children are being taken into care every day – this is a record high;
  • Less than a third of children and young people with a diagnosable mental health problem will get access to NHS funded treatment this year;
  • Almost three-quarters of school leaders expect they will be unable to balance their budgets in the next financial year;
  • Up to 3 million children are at risk of going hungry during school holidays.

Health and social care

The government has launched a new package of support for care leavers, including the new Care Leavers Covenant under which businesses, charities and government departments have committed to provide work based opportunities to young people leaving the care system.

The government is inviting local authorities to apply to its Trailblazer programme for funding to tackle childhood obesity.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published its consultation on the fees that it proposes to charge providers in 2019/20. The proposals are aligned with the Treasury’s requirement for the CQC to recover its ‘chargeable costs’ in full from providers. The consultation includes specific proposals for these sectors:

community social care (including domiciliary care) dental residential social care. The consultation closes on Thursday 17 January 2019.

Social Finance

Charity Bank recently ran “Follow the Money”, a campaign encouraging charities to move some of their savings to ethical providers as a part of their fundraising strategy. Justin Hort (Head of Savings at Charity Bank) has written a blog post about this. He shares results from research that reveals 7 in 10 people think charities should invest their savings and investments ethically and more than half (57%) saying they prefer to buy from businesses that act ethically.

Pioneer’s Post reports on Social Finance’s announcement of a first-of-its-kind initiative of $5.1m in impact capital to fund a ‘pay-for-success’ project to improve employment outcomes for US veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and several state, city and non-profit organisations have joined forces to create the Veterans Coordinated Approach to Recovery and Employment (Veterans CARE) project which will serve 480 veterans over three years in New York City.

Social impact

In a recent session at NPC’s annual conference, Bethia McNeil, Director at The Centre for Youth Impact gave insight into many of the cultural and human barriers to learning from evaluation. In this blog, Anne Kazimirski, Head of Measurement and Evaluation at NPC explores these issues. You can also listen to Bethia’s 10 minute presentation from the day.


The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published guidance aimed at local authorities which details their responsibilities towards disabled people in relation to housing.

Culture and creative 

The government has issued this press release about its network of music education hubs which were introduced in 2012 to support the teaching of music both in and out of school.

Elections and campaigning

The government has published its response to the interim report of the House of Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on the problem of disinformation and fake news. Among other things, the government says it is consulting on relevant changes to electoral law.

Modern slavery

The Home Office has published its 2018 UK Annual Report on Modern Slavery. The annual report details the actions that the UK government, the Scottish parliament and the Northern Ireland executive have taken over the last year to tack modern slavery and human trafficking. The report details there were 3,337 modern slavery offences recorded by police in England and Wales the year to March 2018, a 49% increase on the previous year. The Home Office is also writing directly to chief executives of 17,000 businesses telling them to open up about modern slavery in their supply chains, or risk being named as in breach of the law.

For more on modern slavery, see this article in our Autumn 2018 Newsletter.

Company law

The Financial Reporting Council has published its annual review of corporate governance and reporting for 2017/18.

Gig economy

Paul Jennings and Rachel Mathieson from BWB’s Employment team have written an opinion piece for Times Law setting out why they believe workers’ rights should not be overlooked by gig employers. Paul and Rachel are representing Claimants James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam in their case against Uber before the Court of Appeal on the 30th of October and, in this article, they underline how this matter “is a milestone in establishing and clarifying the rights of approximately 2.8 million gig workers in the UK”. The authors explain that while the “gig economy has delivered a range of benefits that should be embraced”, there “has also been a negative impact on those working on the frontline” with many organisations failing to observe minimum employment standards on pay and annual leave. In their view, “modern business practices can and should work in harmony with long-established legal protections for workers”.

The Court of Appeal hearing of this case takes place this week.


OSCR has announced that it is seeking a new Chair, to take up the post from 1 March 2019, on the completion of the second term of the current Chair, The Very Revd Dr Graham Forbes CBE.

Northern Ireland 

CCNI has issued a reminder of its ongoing consultation on compliance action for failed accounts, which is open until Wednesday 21 November.

This information is necessarily of a general nature and doesn’t constitute legal advice. This is not a substitute for formal legal advice, given in the context of full information under an engagement with Bates Wells.

All content on this page is correct as of November 1, 2018.