Bates Wells Briefing for Charities & Social Enterprises | 4 September

Bates Wells Highlights

Bates Wells’ Senior Associate Mairead O’Reilly has written this blog on the ICO’s consultation on its political campaigning code. The consultation opened earlier this month and ends on 4th October. 

This review covers the two week period from 19th to 30th August. 

At a glance

The Charity Commission has published several reports following its regular accounts monitoring review.

The Government has confirmed its Spending Round will be delivered on Wednesday 4 September.

The Department for Education has published updated template privacy notices for schools and local authorities to issue to individuals including staff, parents and pupils about the collection of personal data.

Charity Commission

Accounts Monitoring Review

The commission has published the following reports in its regular accounts monitoring review:

The commission’s accompanying press release states that only around half of charity accounts reviewed met the regulator’s new external scrutiny benchmark (see this new policy paper from the commission for further details). Compliance with the benchmark does not amount to full compliance with the requirements of the Charities SORP; the benchmark is about ensuring that the basic requirements have been met. The commission says that failings included incomplete reporting of related party transactions, which raises additional concerns that the failure by trustees to manage conflicts of interest is also being under-reported.

The commission has also updated its guidance to trustees on independent examination (CC31). The updated guidance is shorter than the previous version and the commission says that it focusses on the key things that trustees need to know about independent examination.

Safer giving

The commission has published new safer giving guidance for donors.


Bates Wells is holding an event on 31st October “Charity Fraud and Cybercrime – The Charity Commission perspective”. The Guest speaker is Alan Bryce, Head of Development, Counter Fraud & Cyber-Crime at the Charity Commission and he will be talking about the key messages and findings from the largest ever UK survey on fraud or cybercrime committed against charities.  Click here to book your place.

Tax and VAT

Charity Tax Group reports HMRC has published Revenue and Customs Brief 8 (2019), which explains its conclusions following a review of the application of the cost share exemption (CSE) to the social housing sector. It announces the continued application of the CSE to cost sharing groups (CSGs) implemented by social housing associations.

Business rates

See under Scotland below.


Civil Society Media has published this article “What are the governance lessons from the collapse of Carillion?

NCVO has launched a new Winifred Tumim Memorial Fund for innovation in charity governance. See here for details.  


The Government has confirmed its Spending Round will be delivered on Wednesday 4 September. It is a one-year Spending Round which will fund departments’ day-to-day spending 2020-2021. In 2020 a full Spending Review will be held, reviewing public spending in the round and setting multi-year budgets.

This NPC report “A framework for place-based funding”talks about the common characteristics that NPC has identified from its consulting and think tank work, which it believes will prove invaluable for developing place-based projects. The report also brings together examples of place-based programmes from across the UK, showing how communities can have greater control over the places in which they live.


Charity General

The Guardian has published an article which reviews the “Operation Yellowhammer” leaked Report, Operation Yellowhammer being the Government’s code name for planning for a no-deal Brexit. The article covers key points such as:

  • Immigration changes – the EU is likely to have increased immigration checks at border posts such as Dover and St Pancras. 
  • Medicines – with significant disruption lasting up to six months across the Channel this will have an impact on the supply of medicines and medical suppliers unless there is mitigation from other sources.

Health and Social Care

The Department of Health and Social Care have released a corporate report which sets out their single departmental plan. Their objectives include ‘Keeping everyone safe, leading global health and international relations including Brexit’. Their plans also look into how the department will prepare the health and social care system to exit from the EU.

Care Home Professional has published an article which looks into the Government’s plans to exempt the social care sector from the proposed post-Brexit migration policy over fears that it could worsen the workforce crisis.

Public Procurement

The Government has released guidance on bidding for overseas contracts and the UK’s participation in the Government Procurement Agency if there’s a no-deal Brexit.

The Cabinet Office has reissued its guidance on public procurement to help stakeholders prepare for the UK leaving the EU without a deal in place. Further new and updated guidance may be issued depending on the precise terms upon which the UK leaves the EU, so stakeholders are advised to monitor for updates.

Consumer Rights

The Government has released guidance in relation to consumer rights and business changes after Brexit. Most changes detailed are in relation to Alternative Dispute Resolution and Online Dispute Resolution.

The Government has also released guidance on ‘getting your business ready to import from the EU to the UK after Brexit’.

Local Authorities

The Government has released guidance for local authority children’s services in England on how to prepare in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.


The Government has released guidance for Schools in England in preparation for Brexit. This includes advice in relation to school staff arriving after Brexit and details on teacher qualifications.

The guidance also looks in the preparations that further education institutes and apprenticeship providers should make to get ready for Brexit.

The Government has released guidance on the steps that education providers must take to remain compliant with data protection laws when the UK leaves the EU.

EU Settlement Scheme

The House of Commons has provided an update on the progress of the EU Settlement Scheme.

Parliamentary procedure

The Government has signed into law legislation to repeal the Act of Parliament which sets in stone Britain’s EU membership. The Brexit Secretary has signed the order to repeal the 1972 Brussels Act ending all EU law in the UK.

Data protection

Political campaigning

Bates Wells’ Senior Associate Mairead O’Reilly has written this blog on the ICO’s consultation on its political campaigning code. The consultation opened earlier this month and ends on 4th October. 


Facebook donations

Charity Tax Group has provided this update on whether charities can claim gift Aid on donations received via Facebook.  HMRC has provided a fairly vague answer i.e. yes provided the information collected by Facebook is enough to satisfy a Gift Aid audit.  CTG is going to follow this up further with HMRC.

Banking changes

In this blog, Sam Boyle, IoF Policy and Information Officer, outlines the latest developments on Strong Customer Authentication and how these changes will impact fundraisers and charities.

Also see under Scotland below.



The Department for Education (DfE) has published updated template privacy notices, for schools and local authorities to issue to individuals including staff, parents and pupils about the collection of personal data. The DfE has also updated its privacy notice user guidance and also the following suggested privacy notice templates, to reflect the need for parental consent if a parent objects to the sharing of additional pupil information with local authorities and youth support services:

  • Pupils and school workforce.
  • Local authority.
  • Looked-after children and children in need.

The DfE has published an updated policy statement on prosecuting unregistered independent schools.

See under Scotland below.

Health and social care

The House of Commons has published a briefing paper, Adult social care: the Government’s ongoing policy review and anticipated Green Paper (England). The background is that a government Green Paper on social care has now been proposed and delayed several times. In July 2019, the Financial Times reported that the government may go straight to publishing a White Paper. This briefing paper analyses potential topics that such a document may yet address, and speculates on the government’s proposals for reform.

Social finance

Beyond our comfort zone: Why it’s worth working across the spectrum of capital. CEO of Big Society Capital, Cliff Prior, writes for the Pioneers Post/EVPA Impact Papers series, in favour of accepting a collaborative approach between providers of different types of investment and non-financial resource, and understanding their different needs and support capacities.

Three lessons on the use of catalytic capital from US community investment. A Big Society Capital blog reflecting on findings from its July report on community investment in the US, and summarising some key learnings. The full report can be accessed here.

SITR review: looking at the headlines & not forgetting the impact. A Big Society Capital blog providing commentary on key data points from its open-source SITR Deals Database, which helped to inform BSC’s response to the Government’s SITR consultation.


See under Tax and VAT above.

Elections and campaigning

See under Data protection above.


Civil Society Media reports the Scottish government is pressing ahead with plans to remove business rates relief for the country’s independent schools. The Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill is currently at Stage 1 of the legislative process following a recent call for evidence. The wide-ranging piece of legislation proposes the removal of “any reduction or remission of rates in respect of lands and heritages which are wholly or mainly used for the purpose of carrying on an independent school”. However, it proposes exceptions for special schools, or independent schools specialising in music.

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) is publicising Charity Fraud Awareness Week 2019.

OSCR is also promoting a series of introduction to fundraising courses to be held by the Institute of Fundraising Scotland.

Northern Ireland

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland has launched a public consultation on a series of new and updated questions to be added to the charity registration application and the Annual Return Regulations 2019. CCNI says that the questions cover areas which are of particular significance to the sector, the wider public and the regulator itself, such as safeguarding, data protection and fundraising. For further information, see the consultation home page and the news story from CCNI.


Join NCVO and Bates Wells on 4 November as we explore what good governance looks like for modern charities. We’ll give you practical tips and guidance to help you develop in your role as a trustee and support your organisation’s governance.

To book your place click here.

Bates Wells BrandAware training for charities

A Charity’s brands – its names, logos and slogans – may be the most valuable things it owns. But is everyone in your organisation ‘BrandAware’? Do they understand how to look after these key assets?

We can offer your organisation brand awareness training by our sector-leading trade mark lawyers. Our training will explore key elements of legal brand awareness for charities and businesses.  

Click here to find out more and register your interest with our Head of Trade Marks, Mathew Healey.

Disclaimer – The information contained in this update is not intended to be a comprehensive update – it is our selection of the website announcements made in the week which we think will be of interest to charities and social enterprises. The content is necessarily of a general nature – specific advice should always be sought for specific situations.

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 September 4, 2019.