Bates Wells Briefing for Charities & Social Enterprises | 15 May

We want to hear your views on what it’s been like to implement GDPR – see today’s Briefing for a link to a survey.

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

The Charity Commission has published a blogpost called “How to assess risk for charities working internationally”.

BOND has published an update on the sector’s action to eradicate sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment and unacceptable abuses of power.

The Fundraising Regulator’s May Newsletter confirms the new Code of Fundraising Practice is due to be published in June.

The government is consulting on proposals that new or majorly refurbished large buildings used by the public must have Changing Places toilets for severely disabled people.

Charity Commission

Charities working internationally

The commission has published a blogpost by Krishna Soni, it’s International Charities Engagement Officer, called “How to assess risk for charities working internationally”, which focuses on how to use the commission’s guidance and tools on this subject.

New inquiry

The commission has announced that it has opened an inquiry into Hindu Community Society (1136595) a charity which exists to promote charitable purpose for the benefit of the Tamil community in Coventry, particularly by advancing the Hindu religion. In 2017 the charity was included in the “double defaulter” class inquiry for not having filed its annual accounting information. The commission says that the charity has now not filed the information on time for six consecutive years so has now opened an inquiry. The commission says it now has additional concerns arose around the potential loss of £500,000 of charity funds spent on a leased property, from which the trustees were subsequently evicted, and about potential private benefit arising from payments made to trustees for employment within the charity.

Tax and VAT

HMRC has updated its guidance on accounting for VAT under the new Making Tax Digital framework. It includes a potentially helpful relaxation at para 4.3.4 of the rules for accounting for VAT on fundraising events. “Where supplies are made or received during a charity fundraising event run by volunteers you may treat all supplies made as covered by one invoice for the event, and all supplies received as covered by one invoice for the event, for the purposes of the digital record keeping requirements.”


NCVO has flagged a new report from the British Red Cross, Ready for anything: Putting people at the heart of emergency response. It is based on a survey of 5000 UK adults and looks in depth at what people expect and need before, during and after a crisis hits. The report explores what works well and where people’s needs are not being met at the moment.



Civil Society Media reports that Home Fundraising, a door-to-door fundraising agency, has entered administration – with a report by the administrators revealing that the directors in part “blamed Brexit for leading to difficulty in recruiting fundraisers”.

Health and social care

Care Home Professional has released an article on the delays to the Social Care Green Paper due to the ongoing Brexit negotiations.


Last week, the aid sector provided evidence to the UK’s International Development Committee (IDC) as part of their follow up to the inquiry into sexual exploitation in the sector. BOND has published an update on the action that it and its members are taking to improve the sector’s approach to eradicating sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment and unacceptable abuses of power.

Data protection

ICO action against HMRC

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued a preliminary enforcement notice to HMRC stating the Information Commissioner’s initial decision to compel the department to delete all biometric data held under the Voice ID system for which it does not have explicit consent. The ICO will issue its final enforcement notice next week giving HMRC 28 days from that date to complete deletion of relevant records.

New ICO campaign

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is launching the ‘Be Data Aware’ campaign to help people understand how organisations might be using their data to target them online, and how people can control who is targeting them.

Certification schemes and codes of conduct

The most recent ICO newsletter has called for organisations to get in touch if they are considering:

  • Developing a certification scheme (provided for under Article 42 of the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) (GDPR)).
  • Creating a sector specific code of conduct (provided for under Article 40 of the GDPR).

A certification scheme is a way for organisations to demonstrate compliance with the GDPR. It can cover specific issues or be more general. The ICO has also updated its guidance on certification schemes.

A code of conduct can be drawn up by trade associations or representative bodies to help their members to demonstrate compliance and therefore can be tailored to the needs and challenges of a sector.

ICO fines

The ICO has fined a PPI claims management company £120,000 for sending unlawful spam texts about its services.

Friends, clients lend us your ears…on the GDPR

We want to hear your views on what it’s been like to implement the GDPR’s requirements at your organisation and, with this in mind, we’d love it if you could answer a few multiple choice survey questions here so that we can find out more about how it’s impacted on you and your people.

We hope to use the survey results (which will be anonymised) to pull out general themes, with a view to publishing these insights at a later date.

Once we’ve received all of our survey responses we’ll hold a prize draw after which the winning respondent will be awarded a £100 Amazon voucher!


See under Brexit above.

New Code

The Fundraising Regulator’s May Newsletter confirms the new Code is due to be published in June. Previously the Fundraising Regulator has said there will be a grace period of several months until the new code coming into force in the autumn.

Vulnerable donors

The Office of the Public Guardian has published guidance “Supporting Customers who do not make their own decisions”. The guide aims to help staff in financial services and utility companies act more consistently when they see powers of attorney and deputy court orders. It may be a useful reference source for fundraisers dealing with relatives holding powers of attorney for vulnerable donors.

Children’s services

A new national programme, ‘Tackling Child Exploitation Support Programme’, is to provide specialist support and boost protection for children most at risk of criminal or sexual exploitation. Every council in England will be able to apply for bespoke support from the scheme to tackle specific threats in their area, bringing social workers, police forces, schools, health services and charities together to improve how they respond to cases of exploitation, and learn from what works.

The Home Office has announced a funding boost of over £30 million for local authorities looking after unaccompanied asylum seeking children.



94 academy trusts have been ordered by Government to justify the six-figure salaries of head teachers or chief executives.

Health and social care

See under Brexit above.

Civil Society Media reports the Supreme Court has set a date in February next year to hear an appeal against the “sleep-in” ruling made in favour of Mencap. It will hear the latest appeal of the Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake on 12 and 13 February 2020, with a decision expected by July 2020.

Adults who are sleeping rough and living with mental illness and substance misuse are to benefit from £1.9 million funding to improve their access to healthcare.

The government has unveiled new support for survivors of domestic abuse, including a Domestic Abuse Bill.

Social finance

See here for a Pioneers Post article on recent grants awarded to 28 new partnerships, which bring together social enterprise development experts from the UK with specialists working in five emerging economies.


The Regulator of Social Housing has published a consultation on revising the Rent Standard for registered providers of social housing from April 2020. The Social Housing Regulator’s proposed 2020 Rent Standard, which requires registered providers to comply with it and the government’s Policy Statement on rents, sets out the 2020 limit, moving from social rent reduction under the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016 to an annual increase in rents of CPI +1%. It also covers:

  • Rules on Social Rent (including fair rent).
  • Rules on Affordable Rent.
  • Movement between different types of rent.

The consultation closes on 30 July 2019 and responses should be completed via the online form.

International development

See under Safeguarding above.

Commenting on the publication of the Commons International Development Committee’s report on the use of UK aid to combat climate change, Secretary of State for International Development, Rory Stewart, said “I am going to make tackling climate change increasingly central to DFID’s work.”


CASS has flagged a new report from Royal Voluntary Service First Timers: Kickstarting a Volunteering Revolution. The report concludes the equivalent of 1.1m new volunteers stepped forward for the first time in the past year, with social issues such as community cuts, concern for the elderly and disconnection from communities being significant motivators.


See under Real Estate below.

Culture and creative

See under Real Estate below.

Trade associations

See third item under Data protection above.

Real estate

Under government proposals currently being consulted on, new or majorly refurbished large buildings used by the public must have Changing Places toilets for severely disabled people with equipment such as hoists, curtains, adult-sized changing benches and enough space for carers. Buildings affected will include shopping centres, supermarkets, sports and arts venues. The consultation proposes thresholds at which the facilities will be made mandatory in new or largely refurbished buildings of different types, such as overall floor space or attendance capacity. The consultation closes on 21st July 2019.

Company law

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has launched a consultation – closing on 5 August 2019 – on reforms to the Companies House register of companies, with the aim of tackling economic crime by increasing transparency. The proposed reforms include various steps designed to improve the accuracy of data on the register:

  • Verifying the identity of those with a key role in companies (including directors and people with significant control)
  • Giving Companies House powers to seek corroboration of new information and routine cross-checking of information with data held by other government bodies.

Implementation of the reforms is likely to take several years and will probably involve an increase in Companies House charges.

Corporate reporting

Good corporate reporting is recognized by the annually awarded “Building Public Trust Awards”. The awards recognise outstanding corporate reporting (in both the public and private sector) that “builds trust and transparency”. The winners of the 2019 Awards have been announced, with an interactive summary of good practice examples available here.



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 May 15, 2019.