Our latest newsletter has articles on Budgeting, Cashflow Forecasting, and a tribute to our President, Ted Cassidy who sadly passed away in January
If you have any questions, please contact us here
We identify risks from a wide range of sources including, but not limited to:
We place an emphasis on being proactive and identifying risks as soon as possible. To achieve this we:
Our approach is underlined by our general functions as set out above, which include:
We will prioritise our casework resources towards addressing the highest risks, those which have the potential to cause the highest level of harm to public trust and confidence, or which may affect trustees’ ability to comply with their duties.
The level and nature of some risks will be such that it would not be proportionate to use our resources to undertake direct regulatory action or engagement with the charity. However, this does not mean that we do not want to be notified of these risks. Whilst we may not take regulatory action, we may still contact a charity’s trustees to alert them to the concerns raised with us. We may keep such information in our records and reassess our response if further information comes to light. We will also use the information to inform our wider understanding of risks. This may result in actions that deal with risk in a thematic way, for example publishing a report of our overall findings or issuing a regulatory alert to all or a relevant category of charities.
There will be some limited cases where the level and nature of risk identified means that another regulator or agency is better placed to respond, for example serious criminal matters. In such cases, we will work with the other regulator or agency to ensure the appropriate response.
An increased level of Commission involvement with a charity or on an issue does not necessarily mean that something has already gone wrong. It may simply mean that a risk requires a greater regulatory involvement or scrutiny.
Since the nature and level of a risk may change during the course of a particular case, we may need to periodically review our response.
From 1 July 2021, the level of grant will be reduced and you will be asked to contribute towards the cost of your furloughed employees’ wages. To be eligible for the grant you must continue to pay your furloughed employees 80% of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month for the time they spend on furlough.
The table below shows the level of government contribution available in the coming months, the required employer contribution and the amount that the employee receives per month where the employee is furloughed 100% of the time.
Wage caps are proportional to the hours not worked.
|Government contribution: wages for hours not worked||80% up to £2,500||80% up to £2,500||70% up to £2,187.50||60% up to £1,875||60% up to £1,875|
|Employer contribution: employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Employer contribution wages for hours not worked||No||No||10% up to £312.50||20% up to £625||20% up to £625|
|For hours not worked employee receives||80% up to £2,500 per month||80% up to £2,500 per month||80% up to £2,500 per month||80% up to £2,500 per month||80% up to £2,500 per month|
You can continue to choose to top up your employees’ wages above the 80% total and £2,500 cap for the hours not worked at your own expense
They suggest that you use a checklist to ensure that both the new employee and their line manager know what has or has not been covered at any given time.
They both need a copy, which should be kept up to date, so they can follow what is happening. It can also act as a reminder of anything that needs particular attention.
While a checklist is helpful, it should not turn the induction into a tick-box exercise. It should be the responsibility of both management and the new starter to ensure all items are properly covered.
The checklist is often drawn up by the employer’s HR department in consultation with other staff involved, such as a safety officer, line manager/supervisor, employee representative and training officer.
A sample checklist, which is free to download and use, can be found here
Many charities want to know whether and how they can respond to an emergency or humanitarian crisis such as this current one. A charity must apply its funds for the aims it was set up to achieve, but this need not mean that they cannot help when an emergency happens.
Trustees have a legal responsibility to ensure that funds raised are used for the purposes for which they were raised. This means your charity should consider putting in place a range of checks and controls to safeguard its funds and prevent fraud.
In the interests of openness and transparency, your charity should also be able to demonstrate to donors and the general public that funds raised have been, and will be, used for the purposes they were given.
Disaster Action’s Guidance on Management and Distribution of Disaster Trust Funds is a useful source of information.
Recruit trustees who have the experience and skills your charity needs. They need to be interested in the charity’s work and be willing to give their time to help run it.
Being a trustee takes commitment. Don’t appoint trustees because of their status or position in the community alone – these people may be better as patrons.
Your charity’s governing document may say how many trustees you should have and how they are appointed.
Legal requirement: you must follow your governing document’s rules when recruiting trustees.
Aim for a minimum of three unconnected trustees with a good range of skills. You need enough trustees to govern the charity effectively. It’s also important to keep your board small enough to arrange meetings easily and allow effective discussion and decision making.
To attract a broader range of trustees – including young people – you could:
Remove any barriers that could stop someone from being a trustee, for example by:
If you ask someone who benefits from the charity to become a trustee, you must manage potential conflicts of interest if they will continue to receive those benefits.
When a member of staff resigns you must:
Employee decisions to retire are a form of resignation.
Verbal resignations given in the heat of the moment could lead to claims of unfair dismissal – always ask for resignations to be given in writing.
To make their departure as smooth as possible, you might also:
Contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) if you have any questions about handling staff resignations.
Employers must give a reference if:
If they give a reference it:
Once the worker starts with a new employer they can ask to see a copy of a reference. They have no right to ask their previous employer.
If the worker thinks they’ve been given an unfair or misleading reference, they may be able to claim damages in a court. The previous employer must be able to back up the reference, such as by supplying examples of warning letters.
Workers must be able to show that:
Workers might also claim damages from a court if:
Contact Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) for advice.
Telephone: 0300 123 11 00
Textphone: 18001 0300 123 11 00
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
The earliest you’ll start repaying is either:
Your repayments automatically stop if either:
You’ll only repay when your income is over £382 a week, £1,657 a month or £19,895 a year (before tax and other deductions).
You’ll only repay when your income is over £524 a week, £2,274 a month or £27,295 a year (before tax and other deductions).
You’ll only repay when your income is over £480 a week, £2,083 a month or £25,000 a year (before tax and other deductions).
If you took out a Master’s Loan or a Doctoral Loan, you’ll only repay when your income is over £403 a week, £1,750 a month or £21,000 a year (before tax and other deductions).
There’s no penalty for paying some or all of your loan off early.
Use one of the Charity Commission’s model governing documents, either:
Start by choosing the right governing document for your charity type:
If you use a model governing document, complete the template in full. Select all of the options that apply to your charity, and sign and date it where required.
If you’re setting up a charity associated with a national organisation, it may have its own governing document template you should use. You must use that template in full without changing or adding to it. Alternatively, ask your national organisation if you can use one of the commission’s model governing documents instead.
Only write your own governing document if there isn’t a template that’s right for your charity. If you apply to register your charity, the commission will expect your governing document to contain certain sections (‘provisions’ or ‘clauses’):
|Section||What it needs to contain|
|Name||Your charity’s name and (in the case of a trust or an unincorporated association) power to amend the name|
|Objects||What your charity is set up to achieve (its purposes must all be charitable for the public benefit)|
|Powers||What the trustees can do to carry out its purposes (for example, raising funds, buying and selling property, borrowing money, working with other organisations)|
|Charity trustees||How many trustees there are, who can be a trustee, how they are appointed, how long they can hold office and if they can be reappointed|
|Charity meetings and voting||How many meetings are needed, how they are arranged, how a chair is appointed, how votes are made and counted (including minimum numbers for this)|
|Membership (if applicable)||Who can be a member, age restrictions, ending someone’s membership, how membership meetings are called|
|Financial||How the charity meets its legal accounting requirements, who controls the bank account, who can sign cheques and if two signatures are needed, other internal financial controls|
|Trustee benefit||How trustees must not benefit from the charity (excluding reasonable expenses) without commission approval or unless it is authorised in the governing document|
|Amendments (if applicable)||How the trustees can change the charity’s governing document, when commission approval is needed, how amendments are recorded|
|Dissolution||When the charity can be closed, what happens to any remaining assets (charitable assets can only be used for charitable purposes)|