Bates Wells Briefing for Charities & Social Enterprises | 22 January

Bates Wells highlights

Services
Charity
Sectors
Charities, Social Enterprise
Type
Update

Bates Wells is celebrating the Impact Economy! Take a look at this short video to learn more about the Impact Economy, what it means to varied stakeholders and market participants, and what they consider their roles to be as we work towards achieving The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

We are hosting a seminar in February to help organisations who may be finding managing security incidents in compliance with the new GDPR responsibilities burdensome and confusing. Find out more and book your place here.


At a glance

NCVO has published a final version of the Charity Ethical Principles (previously described at the consultation stage as a Code of Ethics).

The Church of England has published guidance on reporting a safeguarding serious incident to the Charity Commission.

The Department for Education has published updated guidance for schools on setting up or reviewing complaints procedures.

The government has launched a review of its higher education rating system, the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework.

The Financial Conduct Authority have launched a new online portal for mutual societies.


Charity Commission

Interim Managers

The commission has announced that it has appointed joint interim managers at The Alternative Animal Sanctuary, to the exclusion of the trustees. The interim managers will take on control of the management and administration of the charity from the current trustees, with the exception of the day-to-day care of the animals at the sanctuary. The charity is currently under statutory inquiry examining the administration, governance and financial management of the charity.

The commission has amended its information on how interim managers are appointed.

Annual Public Meeting

The commission has announced that its Annual Public Meeting will be held in Manchester on Tuesday 5 March.


Tax and VAT

Gift aid declarations

Charity Tax Group reports HMRC has agreed not to introduce a new requirement from April 2019 that charities should collect full forenames (more than the current minimum requirement of an initial) for there to be a valid Gift Aid Declaration. Instead:

  • HMRC is looking to see a gradual improvement in claims including full forenames. This will help HMRC to match donors to ensure their eligibility to claim Gift Aid. There will be no retrospective action taken i.e. current Gift Aid Declarations will remain valid.
  • It will be sufficient for charities to accept names that donors could reasonably be ordinarily known by, rather than needing to check whether this is the donor’s legal name. A full forename would be sufficient, but could include shortened names, e.g. Chris rather than Christopher and even Lottie for Charlotte. No changes to the wording on the Gift Aid Declaration would therefore be needed to accommodate these changes, although charities should try to request full names where possible on future declarations.
  • Where charities hold donors’ full names they should submit this data.
  • Charities are encouraged to document any actions undertaken to improve collection of first name information.

Making Tax Digital

As previously reported, HMRC has agreed to defer the deadline for some unincorporated charities to comply with Making Tax Digital. If your charity thinks it qualifies for this deferral, you should look out for a letter from HMRC confirming this. Charity Tax Group reports it has seen a copy of a deferral letter received by a charity. HMRC has said it expects to write to all deferred organisations by February 2019.

GASDS

The regulations increasing the maximum donation on which relief can be claimed under the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (from £20 to £30) from 6 April 2019 have been laid before Parliament.


General

Charity Ethical Principles

NCVO has published a final version of the Charity Ethical Principles (previously described at the consultation stage as a Code of Ethics). NCVO says the most significant change made from the consultation has been to stop referring to the principles as a ‘code of ethics’. This change was made to ensure that the principles are understood as complementary to existing codes, particularly the Charity Governance Code and charities’ own codes of conduct. The final document espouses four essential principles:

  • Beneficiaries first
  • Integrity
  • Openness
  • Right to be safe

The principles are intended not to be a set of rules that tell charities how they should act in all situations but instead to provide an overarching framework that can guide decision making, good judgement and conduct. There is also this accompanying blog by Dame Mary Marsh who chaired the working group that developed the principles.

NCVO has also published “The Road Ahead 2019 – what can charities expect from the year ahead?“.


Brexit

Public procurement

The Cabinet Office has published Public Sector procurement after a no-deal Brexit providing guidance for public authorities, businesses and other organisations, on the outcome for UK public procurement policy in a no-deal Brexit scenario. The guidance:

  • Confirms what will change for contracting authorities in the event of no-deal. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the existing public procurement regulations will remain broadly unchanged after exit from the EU at 11pm on 29 March 2019. The regulations will, however, be amended to ensure that they remain operable and functional on exit. The key difference for contracting authorities will be the need to send notices to a new UK e-notification service instead of the EU Publications Office.
  • Explains what will happen in respect of procurements that are in progress on exit day. For those procurements, contracting authorities will be required to comply with the revised regulations from that point. Further technical guidance will be published about regulated procurements for this transitional period once the draft Public Procurement (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 are made.

 

Safeguarding

In early January, the Church of England published:


Fundraising

See under Tax above.

Fundraising Regulator

Just Giving has registered with the FR.

Fundraising Preference Service

The Fundraising Regulator has published figures showing usage of the FPS in the year from Nov 2017 to Oct 2018. They include that:

  • just under 4000 people used the Service to make 11,890 suppression requests
  • a total of 988 separate charities received a request to stop contacting people.

Education

Early years and schools

The government has announced £2.5 million funding “to boost international exchanges for schools”. The programme, which will be principally focused on supporting children from disadvantaged backgrounds, will be run in partnership with the British Council.

The Department for Education has published updated guidance for schools on setting up or reviewing complaints procedures. The guidance applies to governing bodies of local authority maintained schools and local authority maintained nursery schools in England. Two non-statutory model policies sit alongside the guidance:

  • A model complaints procedure.
  • A model policy for managing serial and unreasonable complaints.

Further education

Further education providers across the country are being invited to apply to be the first to deliver the next wave of T Levels to be taught from 2021.

Higher education

The government has launched a review of its higher education rating system, the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF).


Social finance

Bates Wells is celebrating the Impact Economy! Take a look at this short video to learn more about the Impact Economy, what it means to varied stakeholders and market participants, and what they consider their roles to be as we work towards achieving The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Pioneers Post republishes an essay written by Ada Wong (founder of the Make A Difference initiative and The Good Lab). This piece explores the concept of Social Labs – where one can experiment with finding small, local solutions to social problems, which is a different and helpful way for civil servants and other decision makers to interact and develop ideas with local citizens.

Pioneers Post provides a summary of speeches by senior Labour figures at an event hosted by Social Enterprise UK and Labour Business. Rebecca Long Bailey (Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) noted that “social enterprises are integral to our industrial strategy”. Shadow Treasury Minister, Anneliese Dodds called for “many more people” to be employed by the sector. Although Labour seems to be committed to the sector, the articles cites more immediate concerns for social enterprises including very low confidence among small businesses owing to Brexit and political uncertainty.

Pioneers Post reports on the start of a “massive open online course”, organised by software provider SAP and attended by more than 3,500 social enterprise leaders, which is to take place over the next four weeks. The course it to “reflect the increasing opportunities for social enterprises and corporations to work together to create social value”.

Richard Macey (director of charities at M&G Investments) provides charities with some investment opportunities. He encourages charities to take advantage of the recent market turbulence within the UK and increase UK equities exposure as income yields remain high and this market remains attractive to buyers due to low valuations when compared to other world markets.


New online portal for mutual societies

The FCA have launched a new online portal for mutual societies, to help societies manage their information, submissions and applications more quickly. Mutual societies are owned and controlled by their members, and include credit unions and co-operative and community benefit societies. Society secretaries will receive information on the portal in the post prior to their annual return submission deadlines, but can also register earlier by visiting www.societyportal.fca.org.uk.


Local government

See under Brexit above.

The National Audit Office has published a report, Local authority governance. The report examines whether local governance arrangements provide local taxpayers and Parliament with the necessary assurance that local authority spending achieves value for money and that authorities are financially sustainable.


Faith based organisations

See under Safeguarding above.


International development

Bond reports it and its members have secured an amendment to the Counter Terrorism Bill at the final stage of voting in the House of Lords. The amendment excludes aid and humanitarian actors from the controversial “designated areas offence”. The bill will now go to the House of Commons for a final vote, although the date of when this will happen is still unclear.


Culture and creative

Grimsby, Thames Estuary, Plymouth, Wakefield and Worcester are to receive millions of pounds of funding to invest in culture. The Cultural Development Fund (CDF) has been launched by the Government to use investment in heritage, culture and creativity as a catalyst for regeneration. Each area has designed plans to strengthen the local arts sector, increase cultural access and provide greater opportunity for people to forge creative careers.


Housing

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published a consultation on proposed statutory guidance intended to improve access to social housing for members of the armed forces.


Environment

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has published the government’s Clean Air Strategy 2019.


Corporate governance

The Government response to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee’s report on the gender pay gap has been published.


All content on this page is correct as of January 22, 2019.