Aside from the COVID-19 pandemic, a key theme of 2020 has been diversity and inclusivity. This two-part update addresses this theme in detail
Along with supplies of pasta that are slowly making their way back onto supermarket shelves, there’s still plenty of food for thought for charities.
This week we continue to take a look at the key issues affecting charities and some more of the great funding available to them. We also take a step back and consider ways in which charities can get creative to help their communities. There’s even time to look at the inspiring story of one veteran who has captured the imagination of an entirely new army of loyal supporters!
The latest on furlough and pensions
Furlough continues to be a key issue this week. The Employment team at Anthony Collins Solicitors have had a busy Easter period unwrapping Government’s latest furlough guidance – and plenty of chocolate!
You can read their latest briefings - Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Treasury Direction and Update guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retentions Scheme - on our website. These include important information arising from the latest Treasury directive for employers utilising the scheme, as well as a breakdown of some of the latest Government guidance on it. The team have also prepared some practical pensions advice for employers.
Business Secretary suspends wrongful trading rules
Trustees of incorporated charities should be familiar with their duties where their charity is facing financial turmoil. Trustees who allow their charity to continue trading when it is insolvent or facing unavoidable insolvency may be committing ‘wrongful trading’ and could be held personally liable for losses.
However, to relieve some of the pressure on trustees in these uncertain times, the Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, has announced the temporary suspension of the ‘wrongful trading’ rules. The suspension, once it comes into force, would apply retrospectively, from 1 March 2020, for three months.
Whilst caution should still be taken as all duties continue to apply to trustees of incorporated charities through this time, the announcement provides some welcome relief. We will be providing further guidance once the new legislation is introduced.
More funding to support charities
Like last week, we have highlighted some more of the funding available to support charities financially through this time. Here are a few of the highlights from this week:
- Charities Aid Foundation plans to grow its £39 million Emergency Coronavirus Fund to support smaller charitable organisations.
- Tesco ‘Bags of Help’ is offering grants of £500 to support the organisational needs of any organisations that support vulnerable groups. It has been overwhelmed with applications and has paused new applications in some areas. Check to see if you are eligible.
- Sport England is offering between £300 and £10,000 in grants to some community organisations who cannot access alternative financial support. Sport Wales has announced an initial emergency fund of £400,000 to help not-for-profit sports clubs across Wales.
- Big Society Capital and Social Investment Business have announced £100 million in emergency loans and investments for charities and social businesses.
Your charity needs YOU!
With economic uncertainty changing the face of charitable giving for charities, many people are finding new ways to give back.
99-year-old veteran, Captain Tom Moore, completed his target of walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday. Captain Moore captured the nation’s hearts and has raised over £15 million for charity...and counting!
Though social distancing measures mean that many traditional fundraising methods are not possible, social media and technology provide charities with an opportunity to fundraise in new, creative ways. For example, did you know that, for a small processing fee, Charities Aid Foundation can host an online donation portal for charities?
Social distancing brings church communities together
Social distancing is not going to stand in the way of some churches giving back. YourNeighbour.org has set up a helpline to connect people with local church organisations, whether it be for a friendly chat or to help with shopping, prescriptions, advice or pastoral support. If you are a church charity, apply to get involved.
For more information
If you would like more details about anything in this newsletter please speak to or email your usual ACS contact, or contact Safa Murad.
Safa is a Solicitor in the Charities and Social Business team. She advises organisations on a broad range of governance and legal issues including incorporation, mergers and disputes. Safa has been involved in local and national community organisations from a young age and is now a trustee of the University of Leicester Students’ Union where she was also a student some years ago!
Covid-19 has resulted, on the whole, in a marked co-operation between contracting authorities and their suppliers as everybody focuses on maintaining delivery as far as possible.
Employment Tribunal rules in favour of claimants in minimum wage case – has the interpretation of “working time” changed?
As we enter a recession, we have been here before, and a key question is what did we learn and how can we benefit from that learning?
It is anticipated that as lockdown restrictions ease, and particularly with children and young adults returning to education, cases of meningitis will start to rise.
As we continue to emerge from lockdown measures and deal with local measures and the short and long term economic impact of Covid-19, local authorities will need to re-assess how services will be delivered for years to come.
The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
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