I. THE ORGANISATION
Ch.1: Setting up an organisation
Ch.2: Unincorporated organisations
Ch.3: Incorporated organisations
Ch.4: Charitable status, charity law & regulation
Ch.5: The organisation's objects
Ch.6: The organisation's name
Ch.7: The governing document
Ch.8: Registering as a charity
Ch.9: Branches, subsidiaries & group structures
Ch.10: Changing legal form
Ch.11: Collaborative working, partnerships and mergers
Ch.12: Members of the organisation
Ch.13: Members of the governing body
Ch.14: Officers, committees & sub-committees
Ch.15: Duties & powers of the governing body
Ch.16: Restrictions on payments & benefits
Ch.17: The registered office & other premises
Ch.18: Communication & paperwork
Ch.19: Meetings, resolutions & decision making
Ch.20: Assets & agency
Ch.21: Contracts & contract law
Ch.22: Risk & liability
Ch.24: Financial difficulties & winding up
III. EMPLOYEES, WORKERS, VOLUNTEERS & OTHER STAFF
Ch.25: Employees & other workers
Ch.26: Rights, duties & the contract of employment
Ch.27: Model contract of employment
Ch.28: Equal opportunities in employment
Ch.29: Taking on new employees
Ch.30: Pay & pensions
Ch.31: Working time, time off & leave
Ch.32: Rights of parents & carers
Ch.33: Disciplinary matters, grievances & whistleblowing
Ch.34: Termination of employment
Ch.36: Employer-employee relations
Ch.37: Employment claims & settlement
Ch.38: Self employed & other contractors
IV. SERVICES & ACTIVITIES
Ch.40: Health & safety
Ch.41: Safeguarding children & vulnerable adults
Ch.42: Equal opportunities: goods, services & facilities
Ch.43: Data protection & use of information
Ch.44: Intellectual property
Ch.45: Publications, publicity & the internet
Ch.46: Campaigning & political activities
Ch.47: Public events, entertainment & licensing
V. FUNDING & FUNDRAISING
Ch.48: Funding & fundraising: General rules
Ch.50: Tax-effective giving
Ch.51: Trading & social enterprise
Ch.52: Contracts & service agreements
Ch.53: Financial procedures & security
Ch.54: Annual accounts, reports & returns
Ch.55: Auditors & independent examiners
Ch.56: Corporation tax, income tax & capital gains tax
Ch.57: Value added tax
Ch.58: Investment & reserves
Ch.60: Land ownership & tenure
Ch.61: Acquiring & disposing of property
Ch.62: Business leases
Ch.63: Property management & the environment
VIII. BACKGROUND TO THE LAW
Ch.64: How the law works
Ch.65: Dispute resolution & litigation
UPDATED INFORMATION FOR CHAPTER 49:
VOLUNTARY SECTOR LEGAL HANDBOOK
This page contains information that has appeared on Sandy Adirondack's legal update website for voluntary organisations at www.sandy-a.co.uk/legal.htm. For current updates, including potential changes that are in the pipeline, see the legal update website.
To avoid spamming, an email address is not given on screen. If you can't see the word 'here' or have trouble sending an email by clicking on it, the address is bookservice at sandy-a.co.uk, with the spaces and 'at' replaced by the @ symbol.
These websites for each chapter update
the 3rd edition of The Russell-Cooke Voluntary Sector Legal Handbook by James Sinclair Taylor and the Charity Team at Russell-Cooke Solicitors, edited by Sandy Adirondack (Directory of Social Change, 2009). The websites are not intended as a comprehensive update and should not be treated as such.
To order a copy of The Russell-Cooke Voluntary Sector Legal Handbook, print out the order form at www.sandy-a.co.uk/bookserv.htm or send an email order by clicking
. It costs £60 for voluntary organisations or £90 for others, plus 10% p&p.
The information here covers the law applicable to England and Wales. It may not apply in Northern Ireland and/or Scotland. These news items are not a full or definitive statement of the law and are not intended as a substitute for professional legal advice. No responsibility for loss occasioned as a result of any person acting or refraining from acting can be taken by the author.
The items below formerly appeared on the legal update website for voluntary organisations and are archived here. The content may be out of date and links may not work. For current updates to the chapter, see the legal update website for voluntary organisations at www.sandy-a.co.uk/finance.htm.
UPDATED CHARITY COMMISSION GUIDANCE ON FUNDRAISING
Added 11/7/10. This information updates chapter.49 in The Russell-Cooke Voluntary Sector Legal Handbook (VSLH3).
The Charity Commission issued on 24 June 2010 an updated version of CC20 Charities and fundraising, covering legal requirements for specific types of fundraising such as lotteries, public collections and disaster appeals, and general requirements such as taxation, issues to consider before launching an appeal or undertaking a specific type of fundraising, and risk management.
CC20 is at www.charity-commission.gov.uk/publications/cc20.aspx?.
HODGSON RECOMMENDATIONS ON PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
Updated 18/8/13. This information updates s.49.2.3 in The Russell-Cooke Voluntary Sector Legal Handbook (VSLH3).
In his review of the Charities Act presented to Parliament on 16 July 2012, Lord Hodgson made the following recommendations in relation to licensing public charitable collections, and the government commented on some of them in its interim response on 3 November 2013. The government's full response will include consideration of the Public Administration Select Committee's report on its inquiry into the Charities Act 2006 and the regulation of charities, which was published on 6 June 2013. The changes will need to be made either under existing legislation [see above] or new legislation.
Sandy's comment: Face to face collections are sometimes referred to as chugging. Where these collect money or property they must comply with the current licensing requirements, but where they collect direct debits as most do the collection does not need to be licensed. This recommendation would require the face to face collection of direct debits to be licensed in the same way as other street collections.
National guidelines or model regulations should be developed covering eligibility criteria for organisations wishing to apply for a licence; accountability and transparency of collections; the balance between different types and scale of collection; frequency of collections; and conduct of collections. [Chapter 8 recommendation ii)1 a)]
Within this national framework, local authorities should have a significant degree of freedom in determining the frequency and extent of different types of collections, but should not be able to ban a particular fundraising method that is accepted nationally. [Chapter 8 recommendation ii)1 b)]
Local licensing authorities should be able to opt to delegate the management of different types of collections (taking licensing back in-house if problems arise), or continue to manage licensing
directly themselves. [Chapter 8 recommendation ii)1 c)]
Face to face collections should be brought into the licensing regime. However, local licensing authorities should be encouraged to rely on self-regulation of these types of collection by the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA). [Chapter 8 recommendation ii)1 d)]
Collections on private property should remain, as at present, at the discretion of the owner/occupier. [Chapter 8 recommendation ii)1 e)]
The government should explore the appetite and options for licensing all types of house to house textile collections to equalise the position between commercial and charitable collections. [Chapter 8 recommendation ii)1 f)]
National exemption orders (allowing some national charities to carry out house to house collections in multiple local authority areas without needing separate licences) should be abolished, though provision must be made to allow for collections on recognised "flag days" and urgent (e.g. disaster) appeals, and thought given on how to minimise the regulatory burden for existing exemption order holders before implementation. [Chapter 8 recommendation ii)1 g)]. The Public Administration Select Committee did not support abolition of national exemption orders.
Sandy's comment: Lord Hodgson says the reason for this recommendation is to create a more level playing field for smaller charities, but charities such as the Red Cross are deeply concerned, and the British Heart Foundation said that applying for separate licences for every collection "is not realistic, feasible or remotely sustainable for us" and would divert funds into form-filling and red tape.
There should be a right of appeal to the charity tribunal against the refusal of any type of licence. [Chapter 8 recommendation ii)1 h)]
In London, consideration should be given to transferring licensing responsibility from the Metropolitan Police to local licensing authorities if there is demand for such a change. [Chapter 8 recommendation ii)1 i)]
Sandy's comment: This recommendation makes clear that the proposals in the Charities Acts 1992 (never brought into force) for public collections to be regulated by the Charity Commission, rather than local authorities (or the Metropolitan Police in London) will not be taken forward. This is not a surprise to anyone.
A standing committee should be formed to drive forward these changes and monitor progress. Initially this should be chaired by the Cabinet Office and its core membership should include the Charity Commission, FRSB, and Institute of Fundraising. Wider membership, including the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association and the Charity Retail Association, should be brought in for public charitable collections. [Chapter 8 recommendation iii)1]
Lord Hodgson's report and recommendations can be accessed on the Cabinet Office website via tinyurl.com/c2azftb. The government's interim response is on the Cabinet Office website via tinyurl.com/poqqqr6.
REVISED GUIDANCE ON TELEPHONE FUNDRAISING
Added 22/5/10, links updated 23/4/12. This information updates s.49.3.1 in The Russell-Cooke Voluntary Sector Legal Handbook (VSLH3).
Following a meeting with the Institute of Fundraising and the Fundraising Standards Board on 4 March 2010, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) confirmed that unless there are complaints, it will not take action against voluntary organisations that make administrative calls to supporters, even if those supporters are registered with the Telephone Preference Service or have opted out of marketing phone calls from the organisation.
Administrative calls are those made to people who already support the organisation, where the call is not made with the specific intention of soliciting a donation or sale. An administrative call would be one whose purpose is, for example, to ask supporters whether they agree to receive marketing calls, to encourage them to volunteer, to provide information, or to thank supporters.
Marketing calls should be made only to supporters who have agreed to receive such calls or not opted out from receiving them, or have given a phone number to the organisation and have not indicated they would not want to receive such calls.
The Institute of Fundraising's code of practice on telephone fundraising, issued in June 2011, can be accessed via tinyurl.com/886c4aa.