Bates Wells Briefing for Charities & Social Enterprises | 5 May

Our weekly round up of news and updates from across the sector.

Charities, Not For Profit

Bates Wells Highlights

This Thursday we are hosting a webinar discussing the new Charity Commission guidance on responsible investment, which will offer insights which might be useful to your charity. For more details and to book a place see Responsible investment: is the current guidance holding charities back?

Bates Wells senior associate Hannah Lyons has written about the key legal issues for returning to public fundraising.

At a glance

HMRC has agreed some concessions relating to the Gift Aid scheme for retail.

The Covid Recovery Commission has published a major report ‘Ambition 2030: A Partnership for Growth.

Coronavirus – HMRC concessions re Gift Aid

Charity Tax Group reports that HMRC has agreed concessions relating to the Gift Aid scheme for retail around these aspects (credit to Keren Caird, Gift Aid Manager at Sue Ryder for raising issues with HMRC): End of Year letters for Method A & B, Returned Mail, Oral Gift Aid declarations, Training for staff and volunteers and Internal Gift Aid Audits.

Coronavirus – FCA guidance for mutual societies

The Financial Conduct Authority has updated its website to reflect that:

  • For annual returns and accounts due for submission by 31 October 2021, it will not take any action to follow-up on delayed submissions, where the delay is 3 months or less.
  • Other measures making it easier to submit applications to it, and its existing forbearance on general meetings, remain in place.

Coronavirus – impact

The Covid Recovery Commission, which is made up of 10 business leaders, including Chairs and Chief Executives representing AstraZeneca, Heathrow, Vodafone, Shell and Tesco, has published a major report Ambition 2030’: A Partnership for Growth’. The paper argues that “the pandemic has had a bigger impact on our economy than any event in the last 300 years.” Analysis by the Commission reveals that the pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities with unemployment, mortality rates and mental health cases rising fastest in the most deprived communities across the UK. It also shows that 18% of the most deprived people – 1.15 million people – in the UK are living in local authorities with the highest economic output.

Charity Commission

Thursday 6 May 4pm: Responsible investment: is the current guidance holding charities back?

This Thursday we are hosting a webinar discussing the new Charity Commission guidance on responsible investment, which will offer insights which might be useful to your charity. The panel will feature experts across the legal, investment, and accounting sectors discussing the features and implications of the draft guidance and how it might evolve. Speakers include:

Little Heroes Cancer Trust

The commission has published this press release about the custodial sentence handed down to the founder and director of a former children’s cancer charity, after he was found guilty of fraud and theft from the charity. The regulator says it first identified and reported concerns about the charity’s finances in 2015, which led to the individual’s arrest.

Data protection

EDPB finalises guidelines on targeting social media users

The guidelines are useful for organisations to consider when using social media pages.


Bates Wells senior associate Hannah Lyons has written about the key legal issues for returning to public fundraising.



A new law has been passed requiring schools to follow statutory guidance on keeping the cost of uniform down. The guidance will be published in autumn 2021 and is intended to make school uniform more affordable.

Ofqual has published the results of its annual perceptions of AS, A levels, GCSEs and Applied General qualifications in England survey.

Ofsted is issuing a series of reviews looking into what constitutes a high-quality education in different subjects across the curriculum. The first review (which focuses on science) has been published.

The Secretary of State for Education set out the government’s vision for multi-academy trusts in a speech given to the Confederation of Schools Trust. Schools Week sets out the 7 key policies that were mentioned here.

Summary evaluations of multi-academy trusts will resume as soon as possible (likely early 2022), according to Ofsted’s chief inspector.

Further Education

The latest update on further education from the Education & Skills Funding Agency has been published.

Higher Education

The annual report from the Office of the Independent Adjudicator has been published, highlighting the record number of complaints made by students against their universities in 2020.


Women from Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, those living in the Midlands and East of England and women over 50 are being urged to respond to the government’s call for evidence to help inform the first ever women’s health strategy. The call for evidence closes on 13 June.

Social finance and social impact investing

EVPA launched the Data Transparency Label 2021, which aims to show to the broader impact ecosystem which European practitioners shared data with EVPA and committed to strengthening the ‘investing for impact’ movement, thereby helping to increase transparency, and to trigger a virtuous circle that will increase data sharing and ‘investing for impact’ recognition.

Cost of Capital Calculator – Good Finance has launched a tool that aims to provide an estimate of how much social investment could cost an organisation, with examples of how the cost of capital in social investment may work.

Debt-for-equity: a social economy response to the Covid debt burden on SMEs – Nick Temple (CEO, Social Investment Business (SIB)) writes for Pioneers Post, making the case for developing a more social economy by transitioning at-risk, viable private businesses into employee or community ownership at scale, as part of SIB’s Debt-for-Equity campaign.

Big Society Capital appoints Stephen Muers as CEO. Stephen has been at Big Society Capital since 2016, working for four years as Head of Strategy and Market Development and more recently as interim CEO since May 2020.

Social Enterprise sector news

Why it is time for Social Enterprise to Buy Social – Writing for Social Enterprise Mark, Ed Mayo (Chief Executive, Pilotlight) calls for social enterprises to trade together more, to help build the social economy and ‘build back better’ after the pandemic, noting a recent estimate that only 1 in 4 social enterprises is purchasing products or services from other social enterprises.

Charities and banking

Bates Wells represents national charitable sporting trust in its refinancing. Bates Wells advised a leading sporting charitable trust in connection with amendments to its banking facilities with a leading UK clearing bank, including on the transition away from interest benchmark LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate), to SONIA (the Sterling Overnight Index Average). For more, Bates Wells has created an FAQ document (landing page), articulating some of the key questions and answers to consider in preparation for the cessation of LIBOR, from 31 December 2021.


See under Charities and banking above.

Organisations working internationally

Organisations working internationally may come across a new UK sanctions regime against misappropriation of state funds from any foreign country. The Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regulations 2021 confer a power on the Secretary of State to designate persons who are, or have been, involved in serious corruption.

Company law

Companies House

Companies House has updated its coronavirus guidance on same day services. The same day service is available for electronically filing a change of company name or incorporating a company using Companies House approved software. Applications must be made before 11am. All other same day services have been suspended until further notice. 


OSCR has published the video of the presentation by its Chief Executive Maureen Mallon 25 March 2021 at Mercia’s Scottish Charity Conference 2021.

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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 4, 2021.