Maternity Leave and Pension Contributions

Image result for maternity leave and pension contributions ukYou and your employer will continue to make pension contributions if you’re getting paid during maternity leave.

The amount you contribute is based on your actual pay during this time, but your employer pays contributions based on the salary you would have received if you were not on leave.

If you’re not getting paid, your employer still has to make pension contributions in the first 26 weeks of your leave (‘Ordinary Maternity Leave’).  

Additional Maternity Leave and Pension Contributions

You will need to check your employer’s maternity policy and your contract to find out if you and your employer will have to make pension contributions.  Your employer will have to carry on making contributions afterwards if it’s in your contract.  If you do stop contributing, your employer will also stop their contributions and you will be treated as a having left the scheme.

If you’re a member of a defined contribution pension scheme, you continue to pay contributions into the scheme while you’re on paid parental leave.

The Pensions Advisory Service can give advice and more detailed information

Charity Annual Return – New Questions

Information board stating "Annual return 2018 and 2019. Salaries + benefits = transparency and public trust".From the Charity Commission

all 2018 and 2019 annual return questions

Why we are asking about salaries and benefits in charities

Our research into public trust and confidence in charities shows that the public is concerned about high levels of pay in charities.

Because of this we will be asking charities to provide more information about salaries to increase accountability.

We will ask for a breakdown of salaries across income bands, and the amount of total employee benefits for the highest paid member of staff.

But, in response to concerns raised during our public consultation, we will not publish details of benefits given to the paid member of staff on the charity register.

Charity Group AGM sample agenda

Annual General Meeting 2017The aim of the AGM is to provide the charity trustees and/or officers the opportunity to explain their management of the charity to the members. It also provides the members of the charity with an opportunity to ask questions before voting on business items on the agenda.

The business that must be considered by the AGM will usually be specified in the governing document or by underlying legislation. However, the charity trustees can include any other additional items of business they feel appropriate.

Specimen notice for an Annual General Meeting for an unincorporated association:

Note: If you use this example, you will need to insert details about your charity and its named personnel, and your particular AGM meeting in the square brackets [] and those named here in red.

[Name of Charity]

Notice of Meeting

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the [15th] Annual General Meeting of [Name of Charity] will be held at [insert full address details] at [insert time and date] to transact the following business.

AGENDA [delete as required]

1. Minutes of the previous meeting

To be agreed and matters arising.

2. Reports and accounts

To receive and consider the accounts for the year ended [date] and the reports of the charity trustees and auditors.

3. Auditors

To appoint Messrs Search and Checkit as the auditors.

4. Auditors’ remuneration

To authorise the charity trustees to set the level of the auditors’ fees.

5. Appointment of charity trustees

Please see the attached election addresses for further information about each candidate.

To re-appoint Mr I Dogood for a second period of [insert number] years.

To re-appoint Miss I Could Dobetter for a second period of [insert number] years.

To appoint Mr I M Knowitall as a replacement for Mrs I Mustgo who retires after [insert number] years service.

To confirm the appointment of Mrs G Benevolent who joined the Board on the [insert date] to replace Mr I Movedon.

[Nominations are required for the following officers [insert details] and must be received by [date].]

[Nominations for the position of Trustee must be received by [date].]

[NB details of how to make a nomination are available from the Secretary.]

6. Alteration to the Constitution

To consider and vote upon the following resolution.

That clause [insert details] of the [details of governing document] be amended to read [insert text of resolution].

7. Members proposed resolutions

Details will be given once proposed resolutions are received. Proposed resolutions should be sent to the Secretary by [noon] [14 days prior to the date of the meeting]. A revised agenda will be issued by [7 days prior to the meeting].

8. Any other business

To deal with any matters raised at the meeting.

By order of the Board of charity trustees

[insert name]

Secretary

[insert date of notice]

You can find the online version of this Sample Agenda here

When To Claim Gift Aid

Crowdfunding for charities: Gift AidWhen you must claim

Your deadline to claim Gift Aid depends on how your charity is set up.

You need to claim for a donation within 4 years of the end of the financial period you received it in. This is:

  • the tax year (6 April to 5 April) if you’re a trust
  • your accounting period if your charity is a community amateur sports club (CASC), a Charity Incorporated Organisation (CIO) or a limited company

You must claim on cash donations under the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme within 2 years of the end of the tax year that the donations were collected in.

Keeping records

You need to keep records of these donations for a further two years

How to claim

You can claim Gift Aid using Charities Online with:

For claims of over 1,000 donations you must use software.

To apply by post use form ChR1, which you can get from the charities helpline.

When you’ll get paid

You’ll get a Gift Aid payment by BACS within:

  • 4 weeks if you claimed online
  • 5 weeks if you claimed by post using form ChR1

Claiming tax back if you stop work

Tax RebateYou can claim a tax refund if you’re not going to work for at least 4 weeks (for example, you’re retired, looking for a job, or returning to study) and you’re not claiming any of these benefits:

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • taxable Incapacity Benefit
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance

You can either:

  • use the online service
  • fill in form on-screen, print and post to HMRC

To use the online service, you need a Government Gateway user ID and password. If you do not have a user ID you can create one when you use the service.

You can access the Government Gateway system here

You can access the postal form here

News from DCAS

DCAS staff will be on annual leave next week, so the office will be closed from Monday 9th September to Monday 16th September when the office will be fully staffed again.

Special thanks must go to all of you for continuing to use our service in spite of the lack of funding from Derby City Council

pam badmintonFollowing the retirement of our group’s Independent Examiner, Ted Cassidy, our new Independent Examiner will be Pam Rickerby, who enjoys playing badminton in her spare time.  Welcome to our group, Pam!

Advice on Whistleblowing from the Charity Commission

Whistleblowing and defamationAdvice on Whistleblowing from the Charity Commission

The Charity Commission is a ‘prescribed person’ under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA), which provides the statutory framework for employment protections for charity workers who make a qualifying disclosure (or ‘blow the whistle’) to them about suspected wrongdoing, including crimes and regulatory breaches by their employer.

“Our aim is to make it straightforward for charity workers to bring concerns covered in PIDA to our attention. It is important that they feel able to speak up about a serious wrongdoing they have identified.

We understand how difficult it may have been for them to bring a matter to our attention, and its importance to them. We recognise the value of this information, as workers will have a unique insight into how a charity is operating on a day to day basis.

These disclosures provide us with information that will help us fulfil our regulatory duties.

When opening a case we record the nature of the issue that is raised with us. The most reported issue categories were governance issues, safeguarding, fraud and money laundering.

Whistleblowing disclosures help us detect and prevent concerns within the sector and take steps to put these right. They help create more effective and efficient charities and more generally assist in raising the public’s trust and confidence in charities and the charitable sector.”

You can also report issues to your employer – check your charity’s whistleblowing policy (a Whistleblowing Policy Template can be found here: Whistleblowing-Policy__fraud_site_)

What to report to the Charity Commission

You can report things that have happened, are happening or are likely to happen. Only report issues to them that could seriously harm:

  • the people a charity helps
  • the charity’s staff or volunteers
  • services the charity provides
  • the charity’s assets
  • the charity’s reputation

Independent Examiner – Eligibility and Skills

Independent Examination of Accounts CC32Charity law requires those charities with a gross income threshold of more than £25,000 to have some form of external scrutiny of their accounts. The trustees may opt for an independent examination if their charity’s income is not more than £1m, or where gross income exceeds £250,000

The appointment of an independent examiner is made by the trustees who must reasonably believe that the person selected has the requisite ability and practical experience to carry out a competent examination of the accounts.

The skills required of an examiner will depend on whether accounts are prepared on a receipts and payments basis or an accruals basis, and the size and nature of the charity’s transactions.

All examiners need some familiarity with certain basic principles of fund accounting, the responsibilities of trustees, and the charity’s governing document.

A person with financial awareness and numeracy skills should have the requisite ability to act as an independent examiner for receipts and payments accounts.

For accruals accounts the examiner should have a good understanding of accountancy principles, accounting standards and knowledge of the applicable SORP.

Depending on the complexity of the charity to be examined, prospective examiners may also need to have practical experience relevant to the charity in question which might include:

  • an involvement in the financial administration of a charity of a similar nature
  • having acted successfully as an independent examiner on previous occasions for similar charities
  • relevant practical experience in accountancy or commerce
  • a working knowledge of charity accounting

Independent examination of accruals accounts

Having the requisite ability is important to ensure that the examiner undertakes a competent examination. A competent examination is one conducted with reasonable skill and care in accordance with the Directions for independent examination. Trustees who have had the charity’s accounts prepared on an accruals basis should select a person who is a member of one of the accountancy bodies listed in the 2011 Act as amended by the 2015 Order.

The examiner should be satisfied that they have the requisite ability with the necessary skills before undertaking the examination of accounts prepared on the accruals basis. When examining accounts prepared on an accruals basis the examiner should be a member of one of the accountancy bodies listed and the examiner must be a member of a listed body if the charity’s gross income exceeds £250,000.

The listed bodies are:

  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland
  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
  • Association of Authorised Public Accountants
  • Association of Accounting Technicians
  • Association of International Accountants
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
  • Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators
  • Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy
  • Fellow of the Association of Charity Independent Examiners
  • Institute of Financial Accountants
  • Certified Public Accountants Association

Starting a New Employee

HMRC Starter ChecklistYou usually have to pay your employees through PAYE if they earn £118 or more a week (£512 a month or £6,136 a year).You must tell HMRC about your new employee on or before their first pay day.
  1. Tell HMRC about a new employee.
  2. Get their personal details and P45 to work out their tax code.
  3. If you don’t have their P45, use HMRC’s ‘starter checklist’
  4. Check what to do when you start paying your employee.

You only need a starter checklist from your employee to work out their tax code if they do not have a P45, or if they left their last job before 6 April 2018.

You do not need to operate PAYE on volunteers if they only get expenses that are not subject to tax or National Insurance

Operate PAYE on students in the same way as you do for other employees.

Student loan repayments

You should make student loan deductions if any of the following apply:

  • your new employee’s P45 shows that deductions should continue
  • your new employee tells you they’re repaying a student loan, for example on a starter checklist
  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) sends you form SL1 or form PGL1 and your employee earns over the income threshold for their loan

More details can be found here

Legal Requirements for Accounting Records

All charities (whether registered with the Charity Commission or not) must prepare accounts and make them available on request.  All charities must keep accounting records, and prepare annual accounts which must be made available to the public on request

Charities with a gross income of more than £25,000 in their financial year are required to have their accounts independently examined or audited

Keeping accounting records

These records – for example cash books, invoices, receipts, Gift Aid records etc must be retained for at least 6 years (or at least 3 years in the case of charitable companies); where Gift Aid payments are received records will need to be maintained for 6 years with details of any substantial donors and to identify ‘tainted charity donations’ in accordance with HMRC guidance

An independent examination is an external review of a charity’s accounts and is carried out by an independent person with the requisite ability and practical experience to carry out a competent examination

An examination involves a review of the accounting records kept by the charity, and a comparison of the accounts presented with those records.  This means that all cash books, bank statements, invoices and receipts must also be made available for checking by the independent examiner