Bates Wells Briefing for Charities & Social Enterprises | 30 April

The government has launched a consultation on social investment tax relief. See today’s Briefing for more details.

Charities, Social Enterprise

Save the date for this year’s Charity Tea Party! We will be hosting this on 7th October at the Conduit Club. Keep a look out for further information and to book your place.

At a glance

HM Treasury has published a consultation on the implementation of the Fifth EU Money Laundering Directive (5MLD) which could impact on charitable trusts.

HMRC has updated its detailed guidance notes to clarify the relevant value test for donor benefits and the new small scale trading exemption

The Department of Education has published some Q&A about the introduction of compulsory relationships and sex education classes.

The European Commission has begun its “fitness for purpose” review of state aid rules.

Charity Commission

Civil Society Media reports David Holdsworth, deputy chief executive of the Charity Commission, has left the regulator to take up a position at the Intellectual Property Office.

Registration of charitable trusts

HM Treasury has published a consultation on the implementation of the Fifth EU Money Laundering Directive (5MLD). Despite Brexit, the government plans to implement the Directive by the deadline of January 2020. One of the proposals is to extend the requirement to register UK trusts – which was introduced following the Fourth Money Laundering Directive (4MLD) for UK trusts paying UK tax – to all UK trusts, whether they pay UK tax or not. Charitable trusts, which have not generally been required to register under 4MLD, would now need to register. There are no exceptions, and no minimum registration thresholds. The consultation does make it clear that government is considering whether some existing registration services could be used for particular trust types, to avoid duplication: so might accept that charitable trusts which are already registered with the Charity Commission should not need to register again. But charitable trusts which fall below the Charities Act 2011 registration services would now need to register under 5MLD.

The consultation closes on 10 June 2019.


HMRC has updated its detailed guidance notes to clarify the relevant value test for donor benefits and the new small scale trading exemption limits.

Also see under Social Finance below.


The charity “Getting on board” has published new trustee recruitment guidance which is downloadable from the charity’s homepage.

ACEVO is launching a podcast by and for civil society leaders. Some of the guests in this first season include Alison Lowe (Touchstone), Josh MacAlister (Frontline), Kate Lee (CLIC Sargent), Girish Menon (ActionAid), Duncan Dunlop (Who Cares? Scotland) and Ruth Taylor (Abortion Support Network).

A group of Student unions have launched a joint trustee recruitment website, Now give something back.

Charity law cases

The First Tier Charity Tribunal has ruled that John Nicholson and two others do not have standing to appeal a decision by the Charity Commission not to remove three charities from the register (and that even if they did have standing, the appeals were brought out of time). The three charities were: The JNF Charitable Trust, the JNF Educational Trust and KKL Charity Accounts. (John Nicholson had previously brought a similar case in 2016).



The Financial Times has published an opinion piece by Nora Mulready, a co-director of a welfare rights charity for older people, who argues that the administrative burden of registering with the EU Settlement Scheme ‘could lead to the inadvertent creation of an underclass of illegal citizens in the UK.’


The Financial Times has published an article about the government’s commitment to injecting £200m into a state-run scheme designed to provide financing for businesses amid concerns over a reduction in funding from the EU after Brexit.

Data protection

ICO consultation

We reported a few weeks’ ago that the Information Commissioner’s Office is consulting on a new Code of Practice which includes guidance on standards of age appropriate design for “Information Society Services” which are likely to be accessed by children. In this article Bates Wells Partner Victoria Hordern explains the background and practical implications for organisations.


The Institute of Fundraising is holding its first ever Fundraising in the Health Care Sector conference, where it will also launch a brand new healthcare special interest group. See this blog for more details.


See under Other jurisdictions below.


Early years

The government has launched a new project to challenge stereotypes around men’s role in early education.


The Department of Education has published some Q&A about the introduction of compulsory relationships and sex education classes.


The House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee has released their oral evidence on the ’NHS Long Term Plan – Legislative Proposals’. The LTP proposals include provisions for the promotion of collaboration between health providers and improving integrated care systems within the UK. The evidence discusses the risks to patient care currently and on defining the ‘best test value’ for the improvement of cost efficiency. In the response to the inquiry there are written statements from witnesses from the NHS Confederation and the Local Government Association. Please see the full evidence release. There will be a further meeting held on 30 April 2019 to provide further oral evidence.

New Philanthropy Capital has published a report into whether there are currently sufficient digital services to meet demand from young people for mental health support. The report also covers how funders can support charities to develop digital mental health services. Read the full report here.

Social finance

The government is seeking views from organisations and individuals on how the Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) regime has affected access to finance for social enterprises, which will help determine the future of the scheme which is due to expire in 2021. Responses are required before 18 July. Big Society Capital commented on the announcement.

Financial services group, Ecclesiastical, has started a new £1 million fund for charities, Movement for Good, which will be provided in two rounds; the first round will be donations (£1,000) and the second will be grants of £50,000. Civil Society reports and provides commentary.

Matias Wibowo, Investment Manager at ClearlySo, writes for Digital Agenda on the impact of angel investors in the tech-for-good sector.

Rupert Scofield, president and CEO of FINCA International, writes for Pioneers Post to share tips for investment-ready entrepreneurs.

Creating Impact – The Promise of Impact Investing is a new report from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) that assesses the total amount potentially available for impact investment at up to $269 trillion, with the appetite for impact investing estimated at up to $26 trillion. Big Society Capital comments on the report.

Faith based organisations

See under international development.

International development

Civil Society Media reports a new tool to allow development charities to network with other charities in the UK and abroad has been launched. The tool, NGO Explorer, is a website that allows charities to search for UK-based development charities by their location in the UK or overseas.

Civil Society Media reports a coalition of faith organisations have urged the government to maintain its current aid budget.

Public procurement and state aid

The European Commission has begun its “fitness for purpose” review of state aid rules. The Commission has published an online questionnaire asking for views on the effectiveness, efficiency, coherence, relevance and EU added-value of a number of state aid rules (both individually and collectively). This will inform the Commission’s evaluation of whether the rules are fit for purpose, with regard to the general objectives of the State Aid Modernisation initiative, the specific objectives of the legal framework and the current and (already known) future challenges. The Commission asks for responses to be submitted by 10 July 2019.


The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has updated its guidance on the legal requirements for preparing charity accounts and getting those accounts externally scrutinised. The legal requirements have not changed but OSCR says that the updated guidance aims to help charity trustees better understand the requirements, see here.

Northern Ireland

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (CCNI) has updated its guidance on using and understanding the NI Register of Charities.

CCNI has also updated its FAQs in relation to the new submission timescale of 30 days for registration applications.

Other jurisdictions

Philanthropy Impact has published:

  • A magazine about Philanthropy and Social Investment in the Middle East. You can read the first article here.
  • A report about philanthropy in China.

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 April 30, 2019.