BWB Highlights

We now know the dates key provisions in the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 will be brought into force. See today’s Briefing for details.

BWB is proud to be hosting the inaugural annual conference of the European Social Enterprise Law Association (ESELA) on 17 June. See below for more information.

The BWB Briefing is taking a break next week and will return the week beginning 6th June.

At a glance

The Queen’s Speech included the Small Charitable Donations Bill, which aims to simplify the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme so as to allow more small or new charities to benefit.

The government has published its Higher Education and Research Bill.

The final report has been published of the review of the role of the voluntary community and social enterprise sector in improving health, wellbeing and care outcomes.

The FRSB has not upheld a complaint about the addition of a discretionary £1 donation by a restaurant on every diner’s bill.

The Charity Commission, CCNI and OSCR are jointly consulting on a new list of material matters to be reported to the regulators by Auditors and Independent Examiners.

Charity Commission

Consultation on reporting of matters of material significance

The Charity Commission, CCNI and OSCR are jointly consulting on a new list of material matters to be reported to the regulators by Auditors and Independent Examiners. The proposed guidance drops one of the existing eight reportable matters and adds three new matters. The resulting ten matters of material significance would be common to all the UK charity regulators. The consultation document can be found here.

Inquiry Reports  - Double defaulter charities

Inquiry reports have now been published into The Kalgidhar Trust (1041548), The Oliver King Foundation(1144485) and Vyoel Moshe Charitable Trust (327054), three charities investigated as part of the “double defaulter” class inquiry.

Public meeting

The Commission has announced that its next public meeting will be in Llandrindod Wells on 7 June. The agenda is available here. Sessions will include:

  • managing your finances - 15 key questions to ask
  • improving the way your charity works
  • digitisation of the commission

Ombusman upholds complaint against the Charity Commission

Civil Society Media reports that the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has upheld a number of complaints by the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation (CISWO), about the Charity Commission. The report was handed down in September last year, but made public earlier this week by the law firm who acted for CISWO.  The report upholds a number of complaints relating to lack of clarity, unhelpfulness and delays, and recommends that the Commission apologise to CISWO and pay around £20,000 to compensate the charity for legal costs, staff time spent, and travel expenses. It’s very unusual for a complaint made to the PHSO about the Commission (which has to be made by an MP) to be successful. In 2014-15 only five complaints against the Commission were assessed by the PHSO and no investigations were upheld.

Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016

Cabinet Office has published the provisional implementation plan for the new Charities Act. Most of the provisions of the Act are timetabled to come into force in July 2016. However, the official warning and fundraising provisions are due to be brought in in October 2016 and the provisions on automatic disqualification from being a trustee and participation in corporate decisions while disqualified are due in April 2017.

The Charity Commission has issued a blog post in response, which sets out some of the steps the Commission will need to take to support the implementation plan. This states that the Commission will be doing the following:

  • This week – consulting about how to use the new power to disqualify individuals from being trustees and holding senior management positions.
  • June – publishing the new CC20 fundraising guidance to include information about the new fundraising requirements. (There will also be updated accountancy guidance to deal with this, but the date was not specified).
  • Late June – consulting on the official warning power.
  • By July - updating its investment guidance in time for the introduction of the new social investment power.

The Commission will also be issuing a timetable soon about new information to help charities identify if the new automatic disqualification provisions will affect them.


The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper summarising a selection of previous EU referendum related briefings. Several key issues are considered by the paper, including:

  • Likely changes to the EU in the event of a remain vote.
  • The impact of withdrawal from the EU.
  • The process for withdrawal from the EU.


FRSB adjudication re discretionary £1 added to restaurant bill

The Fundraising Standards Board ("FRSB") has not upheld a complaint about the addition of a discretionary £1 donation to Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention on every diner’s bill during the Christmas period at a local branch of a chain of restaurants operating in the UK. The FRSB noted the increasing popularity of this fundraising method, where a discretionary sum is added to a purchase or a transaction and so went on to recommend that new guidance for this type of charitable donation should be developed and incorporated into the Code of Fundraising Practice.  

Small Charitable Donations Bill

The Queen’s Speech included the Small Charitable Donations Bill, which aims to simplify the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme so as to allow more small or new charities to benefit.   For more see page 46 of this Briefing Note to the Queen’s Speech.

Data protection

New European Data Protection law came into force yesterday (24 May). BWB's Lawrie Simanowitz and Mairead O'Reilly discuss the main changes that charities need to be aware of and what charities should be doing now. Click here to read the full article.


The government has launched a consultation welcoming views into how National Lottery money is distributed across England and the UK.

Social investment

Big Society Capital has published its 2015 Annual Review. Some key facts and figures are that by the end of 2015:

  • Over 270 charities and social enterprises are using £195 million of social investment to support their work. This includes £68 million from Big Society Capital, alongside £127 million from co-investors
  • The GET IT campaign is launched to increase awareness of the new Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) – the first ten investments using SITR amounted to around £1 million
  • Social investment in the UK is estimated to be worth more than £1.5 billion, with at least 3,000 different charities and social enterprises using it to improve society

Social enterprise

See here for comment from Social Enterprise UK on the impact of the Queen’s Speech on social enterprises.

Also see item below under Health. 


The Association of School and College Leaders has issued information for schools and colleges to help them initiate discussions with Muslim students on “how best they can fulfil their Islamic obligations during Ramadan, including the obligation to perform well in their exams”. This has been prompted by Ramadan coinciding with exam season and the summer solstice this year.


In response to the recent case, the House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on holidays taken during school term time in England. The paper outlines the Department for Education’s response to the case, namely that it will seek to change the legislation on enforcing school attendance, in particular section 444 of the Education Act 1996, which was in issue in the High Court case.

Higher education

The government has published its Higher Education and Research Bill.  Among other things, it will:

  • establish the Office for Students as the single regulator for the HE sector. 
  • Bring together the 7 Research Councils, Innovate UK and the research funding from HEFCE into a single body. UK Research and Innovation.  See here for more information.

In Scotland, the courts have ruled that the cut off age of 55 for a student loan breached Human Rights and equality law. See here for comment from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Rehabilitation of offenders

See here for the text of the government’s plans to reform prisons. And here for Dame Sally Coate's proposals to transform the standard of education in prisons.


The final report has been published by the Department of Health, Public Health England and NHS England in relation to their review of the role of the voluntary community and social enterprise sector in improving health, wellbeing and care outcomes.  The report makes recommendations for government, health and care system partners, funders, regulatory bodies and the VCSE sector. It emphasises putting wellbeing at the centre of health and care services, and making VCSE organisations an integral part of a collaborative system. See here for a blog by the Chair of the Review, Alex Fox.  

The Care Quality Commission has published a new report, ‘Better Care In My Hands’, which looks at how people are being involved in their own care.  

New Philanthropy Capital has published a report providing high-level evaluation guidance for NHS Charities, taking a shared measurement approach to avoid duplication and support improvements across the sector. This work was initiated by Maddox Group members Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity (CW+), Imperial College Healthcare Charity and the Royal Free Charity.

Faith based organisations

See under Education above.


See item under State Aid.


An international study has concluded that tax incentives encourage people and businesses to give more to charity but are too often skewed in favour of the wealthy and causes favoured by governments.

State aid

The Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court judgment that a loan by a UK local authority to a sports stadium does not constitute state aid because the local authority was predominantly motivated by commercial interests.

Freedom of information

The government has published the UK Open Government National Action Plan 2016-18 (NAP). Commitment 8 contains milestones to introduce enhanced transparency measures including data about senior pay and benefits and a new Code of Practice under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.


See Consultation on reporting of matters of material significance, under Charity Commission.

OSCR has also recently set up a new separate email address to allow Auditors and Independent Examiners to make these confidential reports to OSCR.

Northern Ireland

See Consultation on reporting of matters of material significance, under Charity Commission.

CCNI’s new online registration application form will go live on Friday 3 June, when it will replace the existing form. To prepare for the changeover, the online application form and other online services will be unavailable from 28 May until 3 June.

Stephen Lloyd Awards 2016

Stephen Lloyd Awards project shortlisted

We have just finished shortlisting 10 fantastic projects which were successful in our 2016 application process, and have now moved into the development phase. Over the next 5 weeks each of them will be developing their projects and preparing for their pitch at the finalé event. Last year, both at this stage and after the event, we enabled some amazing projects to gain access to support, moral and technical, that enabled them to take several steps closer to delivering their promise.  If you would like to engage with any of these projects, please have a look at who they are, and what their development phase requirements are, here: 2016 shortlisted. For further information on Stephen Lloyd Awards in general, please visit

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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 up to last Friday 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.

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Christine Rigby

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Posted on 24/05/2016 in Legal Updates

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