Bates Wells Briefing for Charities & Social Enterprises | 29 June

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

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Charity
Sectors
Social Enterprise
Type
News

Bates Wells Highlights

Many of our clients are reviewing their policies and procedures to ensure they align with their key equality and diversity objectives, and their corporate strategy. In our new guide, Embedding EDI in your internal procedures, we have set out some of the key things for you to consider as you approach a project like this.

Longing for change? Apply to the 2021 Stephen Lloyd Awards to put your great idea into action. The Awards seeks entries from charities, social enterprises and those with a curious mind to overcome barriers to social change.


At a glance

The Charity Commission has issued a regulatory alert to overseas aid charities relating to safeguarding.

Transfers of personal data from the UK to the EU/EEA may continue without any additional safeguards, following the European Commission’s long anticipated adequacy decisions on data protection in the UK.

The Public Accounts Committee has published its report on adult social care markets.


Coronavirus – government funding

See here for the government’s announcement about the third round of the Culture Recovery Fund. 

After fraudulently claiming Covid-19 business support, a director has been disqualified for 12 years and five other companies have been wound-up by the Insolvency Service.


Coronavirus – extension of insolvency measures

We have more detail now about the government’s extension to certain insolvency measures:

Note there is no further extension to the suspension of wrongful trading liability or to the exemption for small suppliers from the restrictions on terminating supply contracts as a result of the customer’s insolvency, both of which will therefore expire on 30 June 2021.


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 – impact on fundraising

More than half of charities do not expect to reach pre-pandemic levels of fundraising events by the end of 2021, according to the results of survey by Pro Bono Economics in partnership with Charity Finance Group and the Chartered Institute of Fundraising.


Charities Bill

A factsheet issued by the Law Commission estimates the Bill will deliver cost savings for charities of at least £28m over a ten year period.


Charity Commission

Last week the Commission issued an alert to over 5000 overseas aid charities (also see press release here).  The main recommendations of the alert are that trustees should

  • strengthen safeguarding risk prevention and risk management measures – the alert gives examples of these
  • improve reporting by local beneficiaries; and
  • develop management responses including victim and survivor support.

Written evidence to PAC

The House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts (PAC) published its report into Covid-19: Government support for charities on 9 June. The commission’s submission to the committee can be found here.

Faith charity webinar

The commission is running a webinar this Wednesday 30 June on financial management in a faith charity context.


Safeguarding

See above under Charity Commission.


Data Protection

UK granted ‘adequate’ data protection status by the European Commission

Transfers of personal data from the UK to the EU/EEA may continue without any additional safeguards, following the European Commission’s long anticipated adequacy decisions on data protection in the UK. The decisions may be found here and here (the second decision applies specifically to law enforcement processing).  Note that transfers of personal data to countries outside the UK/EU/EEA must continue be assessed for appropriate safeguards.   For the UK government announcement, see here


Diversity and inclusion

Embedding EDI in your internal procedures: this new Bates Wells guide is relevant for any organisation that is looking to embed equality, diversity and inclusion into its internal policies.

Also see under Culture and creative below.


Education

Schools

School facilities are set to benefit from the £483 million Condition Improvement Fund, intended to boost and improve school buildings.  

The DfE has updated its guidance on pupil premium funding.  The OfS reports that the change to the calculation system will result in schools missing out on around £90 million of pupil premium funding.

The backlog of school inspections due to take place when COVID-19 hit could take place sooner than expected as the government is looking to accelerate inspections.

WJEC Educas is the first exam board to announce that it will discount its exam entry fees this summer.  Schools are still waiting on similar news regarding rebates from the larger exam boards.

Ofsted’s chief inspector was quizzed on various issues at the Festival of Education, including the fact that deprived schools are more likely to receive lower grades than more affluent schools.  The full speech can be read here.

The latest ESFA update on academies has been published.

Further Education

The latest ESFA update on further education has been published, including details on how to submit bids for a Further Education Professional Development Grant. 

Higher Education

The Office for Students (OfS) has reported that forecast data from universities and other higher education providers shows that their finances are broadly in good order (whilst acknowledging the potential challenges and instabilities caused by the pandemic).

OfS will conduct a review into ‘inclusive’ assessments used at higher education institutions that disregard poor spelling, punctuation and grammar. The results will be published and will identify areas of concern as well as best practice.


Health

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has published a draft strategy setting out its vision for how data will be used to improve the health and care of the population, with the ultimate goal of having a health and care system that is underpinned by high quality, readily available data. 

The strategy will be finalised later in 2021 and is open for feedback until 23 July 2021 via an online survey

The Public Accounts Committee has published its report on adult social care markets.  Among the committee’s recommendations are that from April 2022, all care providers should give clear and comparable information on fee levels and a breakdown of how this money is spent, for example by accommodation, workforce, debt interest and profit.


Housing and homelessness

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has set out government plans to focus on cross-agency cooperation involving local NHS trusts, Public Health England, charities, welfare groups and councils to tackle the root causes of rough sleeping.


Social investment and social impact investing

Government needs to plan future support as end of Access’ lifespan approaches. Following the recent report by The Oversight Trust, Civil Society Media highlights the report’s call for Access, the government and other stakeholders to work together to plan for the winding down of Access in 2025, and for the ongoing social investment needs of charities and social enterprises after that time.

The Social Impact Investment Sector: Perspectives and Priorities is a new report published by Big Society Capital (“BSC”) intended to summarise the views, experiences and priorities of those working within the Social Impact Investment Sector, including views on the progress made over the last few years, what aspects of the sector are working well and the challenges and difficulties encountered (press release).

Championing change and challenging complacency. Melanie Mills, BSC’s Senior Director for Social Sector Engagement, and David Floyd, MD of Social Spider CIC and co-author for the Alternative Commission on Social Investment, have written a blog highlighting their thoughts on key areas of progress and further work needed in social investment.

The Impact 12 Fund has been announced, intended to fund social ventures and mission-driven businesses spinning out of, or that are part of, 12 partner universities and their ecosystems. The universities involved include Oxford, Cambridge, Northampton, Cranfield and Keele. For more, Pioneers Post provides commentary on the launch.  

Seb Elsworth, chief executive of Access, writes for Third Sector Magazine on why Dormant assets must not be a short-term fix, offering his view on the benefit and risk of the new Dormant Assets Bill removing the stated purposes for dormant funds from the regime, and replacing them with provisions for the secretary of state to define how the funds are spent through secondary legislation.

UK Infrastructure Bank opens for business. The government has announced the launch of the new UK Infrastructure Bank, which is intended to help tackle climate change and support regional and local economic growth. Capitalised with an initial £12bn and able to issue £10bn of government guarantees, the bank is intended to unlock more than £40bn of overall investment, working in partnership with local government and the private sector.

With support from the Alex Ferry Foundation, the corporate governance and shareholder advisory firm, PIRC, has published a report, Endowing labour: Using foundation sector capital to improve the rights of workers, setting out the results of its research into the investment policies of a sample of UK foundations, specifically in relation to labour rights.


Cooperative and Community Benefit societies news

Co-op Economy 2021 is a new report published by Co-operatives UK, providing data on the development of the co-operatives landscape and its resilience during the pandemic (landing page and press release).


International development

Civil Society Media summarises here evidence given by international aid charities to MPs about recent cuts in aid. 


Culture and creative

See above under Coronavirus – government funding.

The Guardian reports the Victoria and Albert Museum has responded to government pressure to align with its stance on “contested heritage” by insisting that it has a responsibility to accurately explain the nature of its collections, including items it said were looted by British forces.


Public procurement

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published a revised and updated version of the technical guidance for public authorities on complying with the UK’s international obligations on subsidy control (replacing an earlier version published in December 2020).  BEIS has updated the guidance to:

  • provide more information about the subsidy chapter of the Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA), including more detailed references to specific provisions of the TCA.
  • Update a section of the guidance which discussed fair trade agreements to include answers to certain frequently asked questions about the application and interpretation of various provisions of the TCA.

Bates Wells associate Suhan Rajkumar comments “The new FAQ section (at Section 4) offers some practical guidance how the new subsidy control regime currently works. We expect further updates to the guidance over the coming months, as the regime develops further (following the Government’s recent consultation).”


Scotland

OSCR has published this blogpost by Julie Hutchison at Aberdeen Standard Capital about charities, climate change and good governance.

OSCR has published this video about updating a charity’s governing document.


Northern Ireland

CCNI has published the results of its research into public trust and confidence in NI charities.

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has appointed Patricia Kelly as the Legally Qualified Commissioner to the Board of CCNI from 1 June 2021 for a term of five years.

CCNI has updated its Covid-19 guidance on annual reporting for NI charities.


Stephen Lloyd Awards

Apply to the 2021 Stephen Lloyd Awards to put your great idea into action. The Awards seeks entries from charities, social enterprises and those with a curious mind to overcome barriers to social change. Winners receive funding of up to £20,000, along with an opportunity to receive valuable pro bono support from experts in the charity and social enterprise sector. For full details on the application process and how to apply, click here or email Mona Rahman. (The Stephen Lloyd Awards are an initiative of the Bates Wells Foundation, charity reg. number 1150321).


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.

Employment Update Webinar – Thursday 15 July, 3pm

Our bi-monthly employment update webinar is coming up – many of our clients find this session useful for keeping up with employment law developments which directly impact on their organisation.


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 29, 2021.