Bates Wells Briefing for Charities & Social Enterprises | 15 November

Bates Wells highlights 


The Fundraising Regulator’s consultation on a plain English restyled Code of Fundraising Practice closes this Friday. See this blog from BWB’s Molly Carew Jones explaining why all charities that fundraise should consider responding.

At a glance

The Charity Commission has updated its guidance on the display of trustee legal names on the charity register.

HMRC has published a useful guide to completing a charity’s Gift Aid Schedule.

Mims Davies, MP for Eastleigh, has been appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has published a report to Parliament “Investigation into the use of data analytics in political campaigns”.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has updated its Homelessness code of guidance for local authorities (2018).

The Financial Reporting Council has launched a project to challenge existing thinking about corporate reporting.

Charity Commission


As highlighted in previous BWB Briefings, the new “Change your charity details” service is live from this week; this also means that from now on charities must check and update their charity details before completing an Annual Return, for full details click here.

Trustee names on the Register of Charities

The Commission has updated its guidance on the display of trustee legal names on the charity register.

The guidance now says that the legal names of all charity trustees will be displayed on the Register from 1 April 2019, unless a dispensation has been granted. This means that for trustees currently using a “public display name” rather than their full legal name, on the Register, they need to apply for a dispensation by 1 March 2019, otherwise their legal name will be shown from 1 April.

The “How to Apply” section has also been amended to refer to the dispensation privacy notice, sets out more clearly what information is required to apply and provides a new email address for applying for a dispensation. For the first time, the guidance states that the personal danger that could arise from the publication of the trustees’ name includes danger to mental health as well as physical health. The guidance also says that, where a governing document is amended and includes trustee information subject to a dispensation, the new document should not be uploaded using the Commission’s digital tool – in these circumstances, advice should be sought from the Commission in advance of uploading the document.

New guidance and digital tool – Change your financial year

The Commission has published a new piece of guidance on how to change your charity’s financial year or financial period; this also links to a new digital tool in order to do this.

Data privacy notices

The Commission has published data privacy notices in relation to the following application: a charity trustee dispensation here, Changing your charity’s financial year here and update your charity’s details here.

Interim Manager appointment

The Commission has announced that it has appointed joint Interim Managers (IMs) to the linked charities Achiezer Association Limited (255031) and Achiezer (234038). The appointment has been made due to the Commission’s continued concerns about the governance, administration and financial management of the charities and the IMs will discharge the functions and duties of the trustees to the exclusion of the current trustees.

Blog – Trustees’ Week

This week is Trustees’ Week and Andy Watt, the Commission’s Campaign and Events Officer, has posted a blog publicising the event.

Decisions and reports

The Commission’s webpage of published decisions and reports has been updated to include recent inquiry reports and statements on live cases.

Tax and VAT

HMRC has published a guide to completing a charity’s Gift Aid Schedule.


As you may know, Mims Davies, MP for Eastleigh, has been appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society.

See under Rehabilitation of offenders

Data Protection

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

The ICO has published a report to Parliament “Investigation into the use of data analytics in political campaigns”. There is also this accompanying blog. The contents include:

  • A call from the ICO for a code of practice covering the use of data in campaigns and elections which would be given the same statutory footing as other codes of practice in the Data Protection Act 2018.
  • Calling for the UK Government to consider where there are regulatory gaps in the current data protection and electoral law landscape. The ICO is working with the Electoral Commission, law enforcement and other regulators in the UK to “increase transparency in election campaign techniques”.


Code consultation

The current consultation on a new plainer English Code closes this Friday. See here for the Institute of Fundraising’s draft response and here for a blog by BWB’s Molly Carew Jones explaining why it is important for all charities that fundraise to respond to the consultation.


The government has laid before Parliament new legislation to implement a new, banded structure of fees for a grant of representation, commonly known as a grant of probate. The Non-Contentious Probate Fees Order 2018 (draft) introduces a new banded fee structure to replace the current flat fee structure, linked to the assessed value of the deceased’s estate, up to a maximum fee of £6,000 for estates exceeding £2 million. It also increases the threshold below which no application fee is payable from £5,000 to £50,000. No date has as yet been given for when the fee increases will come into effect.

Civil Society Media reports some believe it could cost the charity sector more than £10m a year in lost legacy income.



Schools Minister Lord Agnew has set out how the Department for Education will support schools that are underperforming, and how those schools will be identified. These changes come ahead of a formal consultation in the New Year looking at whether the “floor” and “coasting” standards used to judge school performance should be replaced by a single measure.

See this government press release arguing that the publication by academy schools of their accounts is leading to greater transparency.

Children’s services

On 6 November 2018, the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee launched an inquiry into the funding and provision of local authorities’ children’s services. The Committee is seeking views on:

  • Whether the funding for local authorities’ children’s services is sufficient to enable local authorities to fulfil their statutory duties.
  • The financial challenges facing local authorities in providing non-statutory services and how funding for children’s services can be made more sustainable in both the short and long term.
  • How innovative approaches to the design and delivery of children’s services can support financial sustainability.

Submissions to the inquiry are required by 18 December 2018 and should be made via the Funding and provision of local authorities’ children’s services: written submission form.

Health and social care

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has spoken at the King’s Fund about the benefits of social prescribing.

Social finance

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has published new guidance on charity investments. This follows a consultation over the summer – a summary of the consultation responses can be seen here. You can also read a blog about charity investments by OSCR’s Head of Professional Advice and Intelligence.

Housing and homelessness

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has updated its Homelessness code of guidance for local authorities (2018) on how local authorities should exercise their homelessness functions in accordance with the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 and the Housing Act 1996. Local housing and social services authorities must have regard to the guidance when exercising their functions relating to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Also see under Rehabilitation of offenders below.

Rehabilitation of offenders

The Times has published this article about charities working with offenders being “gagged” in government contracts.

Leeds, Pentonville and Bristol prisons have been chosen to spearhead a £6 million pilot programme aimed at helping vulnerable ex-prisoners find and stay in stable accommodation. The sites will pilot a new partnership approach between prisons, local authorities, probation staff, charities and others who will work together to provide the support prisoners need when they are released – such as signing up for benefits – but will primarily be focused on finding them suitable accommodation.

International development

The Government has committed £12 million to champion freedom of religion or belief worldwide. The Coalition for Religious Equality and Inclusive Development (CREID) programme, funded through UK Aid Connect, will work with faith groups, NGOs and academics to promote religious diversity, with a focus on helping countries around the world to embed freedom of religion or belief policies in poverty reduction and development approaches.

Elections and campaigning

See under Data protection above.


The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has launched a new five-year strategy More Impact Online to strengthen its regulation of online advertising, including emerging areas such as influencer and affiliate marketing. Online adverts made up over half of the ASA’s workload last year.

State aid

The House of Commons Library has published a report on EU state aid rules and World Trade Organisation (WTO) subsidies agreement. As a member of the EU and of the WTO, the UK must follow a number of rules when providing assistance to businesses and industries. The briefing report explains the rules around state aid and subsidies, their motivations and differences. It also looks at what might change after the UK leaves the EU.

Responsible business

On 30 October 2018, the Financial Reporting Council launched a project to challenge existing thinking about corporate reporting, including a review of the annual report in the light of developments in the responsible business agenda and the need for businesses to be accountable to a wider group of stakeholders.


See under Social finance above.

A half a million pound cyber fund, managed by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) on behalf of the Scottish Government, is now available to help charities and small and medium-sized businesses protect against internet-borne cyber attacks. Charities who are eligible can apply for up to £1,000, which will support them to achieve the National Cyber Security Centre’s Cyber Essentials or Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation. Please click here for more information.

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 15, 2018.