Training and consultancy on governance and law
for the voluntary sector

"You deserve an award for the most easily understood, accessible and quality information service I have ever come across! As a very small charity your info gives us the confidence to know what we should be knowing and doing with the minimum of effort."
Corinne Wheeler, Canvey Island Youth Project

The legal update website is not currently maintained and articles should not be relied upon. However, to receive current legal updates by email, click to send an email, asking to receive legal updates. Please give your name, organisation, email and postal addresses and telephone number. Your postal address and phone number are used to contact you if emails bounce. To avoid spamming, an email address is not given on screen.
If you can't see the word 'Weblegalupdate' after 'click' in the first line, or have trouble sending an email by clicking on it, the address is weblegalupdate at, with the spaces and 'at' replaced by the @ symbol.


The update emails provide information of a general nature for governing body members and staff of voluntary organisations about recent and forthcoming legal changes.

Recent updates are listed here. In due course I hope to update the website and add these to it, but for the time being I do not have the capacity. If you sign up to receive the updates you will receive the most recent four or five. If you would like previous ones, let me know when you sign up.

  • 1801 CIO: Charitable company conversion to charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) (1/2/18)
  • 1802 CIO: New rules on CIO/SCIO names (6/2/18)

  • 1803 DATA PROTECTION: Getting sorted for the General Data Protection Regulation (1) (13/2/18)
  • 1804 DATA PROTECTION: Getting sorted for GDPR (2): Forthcoming events + fundraising and direct marketing (15/2/18)
  • 1805 DATA PROTECTION: Getting sorted for GDPR (3): Children's personal data; HR; faith organisations + more (16/2/18)

  • 1806 RISK: Reputational risk + free NCVO resources (20/2/18)

  • 1807 SAFEGUARDING: Criminal record checks (1): Basic criminal record checks (16/3/18)
  • 1808 SAFEGUARDING: Criminal record checks (2): ID checking; overseas applicants; asylum seekers (19/3/19)

  • 1809 ADMIN: Postage (20/3/18)

  • 1810 PAY: Minimum wage & living wage (1): Current rates; uniforms; travel time (27/3/18)
  • 1811 PAY: Minimum wage & living wage (2): Sleep-in shift pay (28/3/18)
  • 1812 PAY: NJC; itemised pay statements; "weekly pay" for redundancy pay etc; unfair dismissal awards (28/3/18)

  • 1813 FRAUD: Recent insider fraud cases (3/4/18)

  • 1814 PAYE: Benefits in kind; termination payments; tax-free childcare; Scottish rate of income tax (10/5/18)

  • 1815 RELIGION: Supporting Muslim colleagues during Ramadan (16/5/18)

  • 1816 DATA PROTECTION: Fees; GDPR resources; consent v. legitimate interests; Data Protection Act 2018 (25/5/18)

  • 1817 EMPLOYMENT & VOLUNTEERING: Heatwaves; World Cup fever (11/6/18)

  • 1818 PAY: NJC; living wage; Northern Ireland redundancy & dismissal awards (25/6/18)

  • 1819 CHARITY LAW: Disqualification of trustees & senior managers (27/6/18)

  • 1820 CHARITY LAW: Charities (Protection & Social Investment) Act 2016 (28/6/18)


The legal update website for voluntary organisations, when it was maintained, was on five pages. These are still online, but some articles may be out of date. In due course the legal update website will all be transferred to archive pages at VSLH Archive

  • EMPLOYMENT covers employment and volunteering.

  • EQUALITY covers equal opportunities in employment and in the provision of services, goods and facilities, and human rights.

  • FINANCE covers assets, contracts, risk and liability, insurance, financial difficulties and winding up, fundraising, funding, commissioning and procurement, trading, accounts, tax, VAT, and property and the environment.

  • LEGAL STRUCTURES, CHARITABLE STATUS AND GOVERNANCE covers charity law, company and industrial and provident society law, issues related to incorporation or being unincorporated, and governance and trusteeship.

  • ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES covers everything else: health and safety, safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, data protection, freedom of information, intellectual property, electronic communications, internet, campaigning, events, licensing, publicity, marketing etc.
Earlier items are archived at

The information and commentary on this website cover the law applicable to England, and may not apply in Wales, Northern Ireland and/or Scotland. It is provided free of charge for information purposes only, and is not a full or definitive statement of the law. Reasonable efforts are made to keep the information and commentary accurate and up to date, but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by Sandy Adirondack. Each item clearly indicates when it was most recently updated.

The information and commentary do not, and are not intended to, amount to legal advice to any person or organisation on a specific case or matter and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice.

Items on this website are cross-referenced to the The Russell-Cooke Voluntary Sector Legal Handbook, published by Directory of Social Change in September 2009 (£60 for voluntary organisations, £90 others, + 10% p&p). For details see Books, and to order a copy print out the order form at Books by post or send an email order by clicking
To avoid spamming, an email address is not given on screen. If you can't see the word 'Bookorders' or have trouble sending an email by clicking on it, the address is bookorders at, with the spaces and 'at' replaced by the @ symbol.


You can also find legal updates for voluntary organisations on the website of the Charity Team at Russell-Cooke Solicitors at and information about changes in tax and finance law on the Sayer Vincent website at

Helplines and information
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations' financial management website includes briefings and guidance on financial matters, as well as model policies and procedures. It can be accessed via Other NCVO briefings, for example on trustee roles, employment matters etc, are accessible from

To contact the Charity Commission, start at You used to be able to keep clicking on "Make a general enquiry" and eventually get to a helpline number, but the Commission is now so under-resourced that the only options are to use an online form or write to them by post.

The HM Revenue and Customs contact page for charities and community amateur sports clubs can be accessed via Their helpline is 0300 123 1073.

The Charity Finance Group at covers finance, IT and human resources and provides, in the resources section, practical working documents which are used by charities, as well as professional guidance and advice provided by experts.

The Advice Services Alliance's Advicenow at provides legal information about a wide range of topics. It is intended to be complementary to Civil Legal Advice, a service for individuals who are eligible for legal aid, at or (tel 0845 345 4345).

Employment-related information and advice is available from several sources, including the website, ACAS and the Trades Union Congress. For details see

Professional support
The national ProHelp network includes firms of solicitors, accountants, architects, consulting engineers and surveyors, public relations and marketing agencies, and management and information technology consultants who provide free advice and support to charities and community groups. Details are at

Professionals4free, a website to help voluntary organisations find out how to access free professional help, is run by Business Community Connections, Business in the Community, TimeBank and NCVO and is at

LawWorks ( is a charity which offers free legal advice and guidance to small charities, not for profit, voluntary and community organisations and social enterprises in England and Wales. This includes free legal advice on a wide range of legal issues; an online service providing initial advice in response to general legal queries; a small number of legal advice clinics; and factsheets and videos on a range of topics. It also provides a mediation service. It is run by the Solicitors Pro Bono Group,


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2018 Sandy Adirondack.

Governance and legal training and consultancy
for the voluntary sector

39 Gabriel House, 10 Odessa Street, London SE16 7HQ
Tel 020 7232 0726
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