Bates Wells Briefing for Charities & Social Enterprises | 22 June

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

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Charity
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Social Enterprise
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News

Bates Wells Highlights

Given the highly flexible way in which many people have been working for the past 12 months, employers are very likely to face a marked increase in flexible working requests as we transition back to some level of office-based working.  In an upcoming webinar our employment team will look at how employers can appropriately understand and consider flexible working requests.

There’s plenty of content out there dealing with the approach employers can take to home or hybrid working. But what does home or hybrid working mean for contracts and policies? Click on a circle on our interactive map to find out.

Are you ready for right to work checks during the new post-Brexit era? Submit your questions to be covered by our immigration team in their interactive webinar, which will help you to be fully prepared for the end of the Brexit grace period.


At a glance

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has further updated its guidance for voluntary organisations and groups in England on how to safely and effectively involve volunteers in their work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The government has announced continuing protection for businesses that have had to remain closed during the pandemic and are unable to pay rent on their commercial property.

The Government Data Quality Hub has published “Five signs of a good data quality culture”.

An updated edition of the Academy Trust Handbook has been published, including changes that impact trust governance.

The European Court of Justice has handed down a judgment on whether quantities and values must be included in a contract notice.


Coronavirus – extension of current restrictions

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps and Other Provisions) (England) (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021/705) came into force on 20 June 2021.


Coronavirus – government guidance

For the government’s main current guidance, see Covid-19 Coronavirus restrictions: what you can and cannot do.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has further updated its guidance for voluntary organisations and groups in England on how to safely and effectively involve volunteers in their work during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Coronavirus – requirement for workers in care homes to be vaccinated

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has published its response to the government consultation on making Covid-19 vaccination a condition of deployment for workers in care homes in England with older adult residents.  The government will implement the mandatory vaccination requirement but it will be subject to a 16-week grace period following the coming into force of amending regulations. Those covered by the new rules will need to produce evidence of having had a complete course of an authorised Covid-19 vaccine (or evidence that they are exempt from vaccination).


Coronavirus – insolvency

The government has announced statutory demands and winding up petitions are to remain restricted for a further three months till 30 September 2021 “to protect companies from creditor enforcement action where their debts relate to the pandemic”.

Current measures relating to entry into a moratorium will also be extended until 30 September 2021.


Coronavirus – extensions to restrictions on forfeiture/recovery for rent-arrears

The government has also announced continuing protection for businesses that have had to remain closed during the pandemic and are unable to pay rent on their commercial property.  The protections include:

  • The existing measures in place to protect commercial tenants from eviction will be extended to 25 March 2022.
  • legislation will be introduced in this session to ringfence outstanding unpaid rent that has built up when a business has had to remain closed during the pandemic. Landlords are expected to make allowances for the ringfenced rent arrears from these specific periods of closure due to the pandemic, and share the financial impact with their tenants.  The legislation will provide a framework for tenants and landlords to work together to come to an agreement on how to handle the money owed – this could be done by waiving some of the total amount or agreeing a longer-term repayment plan.  If an agreement cannot be made, the law will ensure a binding arbitration process will be put in place.

Brexit

The government has published a “Summary: The UK’s new relationship with the EU”.  It gives an overview of what has changed, and what remains the same. 

We have updated our “Brexit – where are we now?” briefing. 


Data Protection

International data transfers

There was good news on UK adequacy last week – but no official publication from the EU yet.

Data quality

The Government Data Quality Hub has published “Five signs of a good data quality culture”. The Government Data Quality Hub (DQHub) is developing tools, guidance, and training to help you with your data quality initiatives. You can find the Government Data Quality Framework, tools and case studies on the DQHub site.


Education

Schools

More than 1 in 5 pupils are now eligible for free school meals since last year, following a steep rise during the pandemic.

The DfE has published guidance for both primary and secondary schools to support relationships, sex and health education curriculum planning, as part of education recover after Covid-19.

Ofsted has published its review into what constitutes a high quality geography education.

Ofqual has opened a consultation on the proposed revisions to the way the Exam Procedures Review Service will operate for qualifications awarded in summer 2021. The consultation is open until 11.45pm on Monday 28 June.

Children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities have been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, as detailed in a new Ofsted report.

An updated edition of the Academy Trust Handbook has been published, including changes that impact trust governance.

The latest ESFA update for academies is available here.

Further Education

The latest ESFA update for further education is available here.

Further education teaching staff will be supported in their professional development by a new £9.5 million fund.

Higher Education

The Office for Students reports on the widespread media coverage and boycott of Oriel College, Oxford concerning the statue of Cecil Rhodes that stands above a doorway at the college.

A high proportion of enrolments onto artificial intelligence and data science postgraduate conversion courses funded by the OfS came from women, black and disabled students in 2020-21.  


Health and social care

See above under Coronavirus – requirement for workers in care homes to be vaccinated.

To mark Loneliness Awareness Week, charities across the country are to get a £2 million boost to tackle loneliness in communities.

Children with a social worker in England are to benefit from further dedicated support in school and at college.

Ofsted’s annual survey has captured the views of children and adults about children’s social care settings.

See under Funeral services.


Social finance

The Oversight Trust commissioned a quadrennial review of Access – The Foundation for Social Investment. The Final Report has found that Access has had a positive impact on the sector but will require additional resources to sustain the flow of blended capital beyond 2022. The Report has also called on Access to work towards reducing complexity across the social investment ecosystem. The Oversight Trust’s response to the report can be viewed here and Access’ response has also been published here.


Public procurement

The European Court of Justice has handed down a judgment on whether quantities and values must be included in a contract notice.  The background is that in 2019, two regions of Denmark launched an open public procurement procedure with a view to the conclusion of a framework agreement for a period of four years for the purchase of equipment for tube feeding intended for patients at home and in establishments. The contract notice did not contain information on the estimated market value of the framework agreement, nor information on the maximum value of framework agreements or on the estimated or maximum quantity of products. One of the unsuccessful tenderers submitted a complaint that the Regions had infringed the principles of equal treatment and transparency as well as Article 49 of Directive 2014/24 by not publishing the estimated quantity or the estimated value of the products to be supplied under the framework. 

The ECJ held that the contract notice must indicate the quantity and / or the estimated value as well as a quantity and / or a maximum value of the products to be supplied under a framework agreement and that once this limit has been reached, the framework agreement will have exhausted its effects. (Case C-23/20 – Simonsen & Weel A/S v Region Nordjylland og Region Syddanmark, ECLI:EU:C:2021:490 (judgment in French).


Company law

Corporate criminal liability

The Law Commission has opened a consultation on how corporate criminal liability law can be amended to appropriately capture and punish criminal offences committed by corporations and their directors or senior management, especially large corporations.  The consultation, which involves various events over the summer, runs until 31 August. 


Funeral services

Charities and hospices which work with the funeral services sector should note a new Funeral Markets Investigation Order 2021 made by the Competition and Markets Authority to address the adverse effects on competition within the funeral services market.  The order includes a prohibition on all funeral directors from entering into or conducting certain arrangements with a hospital, hospice, care home, or other similar institution which could reasonably be understood to encourage, incentivise or require the institution to refer customers to the funeral director or give that funeral director preference over other funeral directors.


Elections and campaigning

The government has published a response to its consultation on introducing a “digital imprints” regime in campaigning. Under the final policy, all paid-for electronic material will require an imprint, regardless of who promoted it.


Northern Ireland

The results of recent research by CCNI about the factors influencing the public’s trust and confidence in charities will be revealed in full at an online event on Friday 25 June, see here for details.


You might also be interested in…

Flexible working requests – what does the law require and what does the future hold?Wednesday 30 June, 3pm

Paul Jennings and Rebecca Bruce will be looking at the current law, the effect of Covid and the risks to employers, and how this can all be carefully managed.

Immigration Q&A- Are you ready for right to work checks during the new post-Brexit era? Monday 28 June, 2pm

With the end of the Brexit grace period coming on 30 June 2021, are you ready for right to work checks during the new post-Brexit era? In this interactive webinar, we’ll discuss the Home Office’s latest guidance on right to work checks.


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 June 21, 2021.