BWB Highlights

A new report "Bridging the Gap - Introducing the Social Value Maturity Index” introduces a checklist tool considered to provide an answer to Social Value implementation. BWB PartnerJulian Blake contributed the legal perspective.

BWB have partnered with NCVO to hold the annual trustee conference on Monday 7th November. See below for more information.


At a glance

The Small Charitable Donations and Childcare Payments Bill 2016-17 has had its first reading in Parliament. 

The Business, Innovation and Skills House of Commons Select Committee has launched an inquiry on corporate governance.

The House of Lords Constitution Committee published a report last week on the process for invoking Article 50.

The Home Office has launched a programme of support for frontline organisations working to challenge extremism in their communities. 

The King’s Fund has published a report “Social care for older people: home truths”.


Charity Commission

Case Reports

The Commission has published two case reports as part of its work to examine the financial resilience of the sector; educational charity Success for All Foundation (1077079) and recreation charity Gosling Sports Park (302498). The two charities were picked at random for proactive analysis and a compliance visit from the Commission’s Monitoring Team out of a group of 94 charities which were identified as having signs of financial distress in their accounts. In the case of Success for all Foundation, the Commission found that the trustees had been taking action to save the charity from insolvency since the third quarter of 2014 and had modified its business model accordingly. The Commission will re-engage with the charity at the end of the next two financial quarters to verify the latest financial position. In the case of Gosling Park, the charity made a successful transfer of its operations to another charity, and the Commission found that the trustees had taken significant steps over the past two years to protect its assets and improve its financial position.

New inquiry

The Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators (303167).


Charity Tribunal

new appeal has been filed by Keith Colman.


Tax and VAT

The Government’s proposed changes to the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme have now been introduced in the Small Charitable Donations and Childcare Payments Bill 2016-17. The second reading of the Bill is expected next month.


Accounting

Charity Finance Group has launched its Small Charities Programme. It will provide practical training and resources to smaller organisations across England and Wales, to support them with managing their finances.


Governance

The Business, Innovation and Skills House of Commons Select Committee has launched an inquiry on corporate governance, focusing on executive pay, directors' duties, and the composition of boardrooms, including worker representation and gender balance in executive positions.  Submissions are requested by 26 October 2016.


Brexit

Exit process

The House of Lords Constitution Committee published a report last week on the process for invoking Article 50. The report argues for greater Parliamentary involvement in the Brexit process, given the constitutional implications of the vote to leave the EU. The report also argues for greater cooperation between Parliament and the government in the run up to triggering Article 50:

“It would be constitutionally inappropriate, not to mention setting a disturbing precedent, for the Executive to act on an advisory referendum without explicit parliamentary approval—particularly one with such significant long-term consequences. The Government should not trigger Article 50 without consulting Parliament.”

The Department for Exiting the European Union dismissed the report’s conclusions. It argues that the government has a prerogative power to invoke Article 50, and Parliament voted by a majority of six to one to give the British people the decision in a referendum. However, “the triggering of article 50 is the beginning of the process of exit and we expect parliament to be fully consulted and engaged throughout.”

The European Commission has set up a Task Force for the preparation and conduct of the negotiations with the UK. This follows the appointment, on 27 July 2016, by President Juncker of Michel Barnier as Chief Negotiator in charge of those negotiations and of the new Task Force.

Sector implications

Third Sector reports about two-thirds of charities think that the UK’s decision to leave the European Union will have a negative effect on corporate partnerships, new research indicates. A survey of NGOs and companies carried out by the consultancy C&E Advisory in the wake of the referendum in June found that almost 60 per cent of the UK-based charities that responded felt the decision would have a negative or very negative effect on corporate partnerships. Seventy-one per cent of the international NGOs polled felt the same.


Funding

The Home Office has launched a programme of support for frontline organisations working to challenge extremism in their communities.


Fundraising

Fundraising Regulator

Has published its September newsletter which includes:

  • Re Complaints – “Over the past two months, we have received 149 complaints. 56 have been dealt with by the charity themselves, and 17 have been taken forward for investigation by our team. The remaining complaints have been referred to the charity concerned or to other regulators. 1 has been taken to our Adjudications Committee.”
  • The Fundraising Regulator plans to review and update the Code of Fundraising Practice on a rolling basis. “As a regulator, we will make sure that we assess the impacts of any amendments to the code, by issuing a consultation. The first phase of Code review will cover several specific best practice issues, as well as the practicality of its presentation to ensure that fundraisers are fully enabled to use it. We will issue consultation in early 2017.” 

Merger of IOF and PFRA

This took place on 1st September 2016.  The former work of the PFRA will continue within the IoF with the PFRA brand becoming IoF Compliance.  It will focus on compliance work and ensuring all members feel equipped to fundraise to the highest standards and in accordance with the Code of Fundraising Practice.Content on the PFRA website is being migrated to the IoF website and the PFRA website will be taken down on 26th September 2016.


Social value

Last week the Social Value Portal published a report "Bridging the Gap - Introducing the Social Value Maturity Index”,   It introduces the Social Value Maturity Index, which is a checklist tool considered to provide an answer to Social Value implementation.  It is being promoted to local authorities and businesses engaged with local authorities on this basis. The promotion is likely to extend to mission-led business and commercial business as an upgrade on corporate social responsibility.  There is an emphasis on both public services and local authority real estate planning.  BWB Partner Julian Blake contributed the legal perspective at page 7.


Social enterprise

ESELA (the European Social Enterprise Law Association) has published its latest newsletter.  It includes:

  • an article on the new law of social entrepreneurship in the Czech Republic.  

A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal case considered the application of TUPE to a situation involving a Community Interest Company.  In this case, a local council subsidised a community interest company to provide a bus service from a council-owned car park to the city centre. Another company started up a similar bus service for the same route but for its own commercial purposes without any subsidy from the council.  An argument that the bus drivers employed by the CIC transferred under TUPE to the new provider failed because the new service was not set up for the council, but rather the council was an "interested bystander". Therefore when the council terminated its contract with the community interest company, there was no service provision change for the purposes of section 3(1) (b) (ii) and TUPE did not apply to the employment contracts of bus drivers. (CT Plus (Yorkshire) CIC v Black and others UKEAT/0035/16 (9 August 2016).


Education

Schools

See this government press release about the increasing number of places at free schools.  

The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on grammar schools in England.


Health and social care

The King's Fund has published a report "Social care for older people: home truths".


International development

Following announcements made last week by Priti Patel about a major overhaul of the aid budget, BOND has published this response.


Data protection

The Information Commissioner’s Office is carrying out some research to understand more about information governance frameworks in local councils.


Company law

The ban on corporate directors introduced by the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 has been delayed. It was scheduled to be implemented in October 2016 (with a one year transitional period after which existing corporate directors would cease to hold office). However on 16 August 2016 the Companies House website was amended to delay implementation while it explores the exceptions further. While no implementation date has been set for the time being, BEIS has indicated that it does intend to implement the prohibition, and publish regulations setting out exceptions to the prohibition, in due course.

Also see under Governance above.


Scotland

Changes to Incorporation process

OSCR has made a statement of its intention to change the procedure for unincorporated charities becoming companies or SCIOs. Going forward, the only way to achieve incorporation will be to apply for status for the new charity and seek OSCR’s consent to wind up the existing charity. The charity will need to change its name and number during the process, which OSCR has acknowledged is a serious concern for charities. Though for those converting to SCIOs, OSCR will allow the new charity to register with the name of the old charity and “SCIO” added at the end.  OSCR says the current second option which it describes as “a simpler “conversion” process” is being phased out from November. 

New Equality Strategy

OSCR has published an updated equality strategy.

Blog

OSCR’s most recent blogpost is by Louise Meikleham, OSCR’s Engagement Manager for Policy & Research, in relation to this year’s surveys on public trust and confidence in charities.


Northern Ireland

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (CCNI) held its second annual public meeting yesterday in Lisburn and is hoping to reflect on the progress and challenges of implementing charity regulation in Northern Ireland.


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Christine Rigby

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+44(0)20 7551 7712

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Posted on 21/09/2016 in Legal Updates

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