Faith Bulletin - January 2018

Welcome to the first edition of the Faith Bulletin for 2018. In this edition we cover GDPR, safeguarding, immigration, education, employment and property developments relevant to faith charities. I would like to draw your attention to our excellent Charity Essentials Training which will run throughout 2018 on various dates and different locations. Please follow the link at the bottom of the email to see what we will be covering and to book a place on one of the training sessions. As always, please do get in touch if you have any suggestions about content for the bulletin.

GDPR – coming soon!

Now we find ourselves in 2018, organisations are beginning to turn their full attention to the implementation of the GDPR on 25 May 2018. Many charities have made good headway in their GDPR compliance projects and others are looking for a place to start. Stone King have prepared a pack of template policies and checklists aimed at its charity clients to help them demonstrate understanding and compliance with the Regulations. If your organisation is interested in purchasing this pack or you would like further advice and guidance on GDPR, please contact Alexandra Weatherdon.

Safeguarding is a key governance concern for all charities

The Charity Commission’s new safeguarding strategy says that safeguarding is a key governance priority for all charities, not just those working with groups traditionally considered at risk. The strategy explains that trustees should ensure their charity provides a safe environment for staff, volunteers, and anyone who comes into contact with it.

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Employment Appeal Tribunal rules on direct discrimination on the grounds of marriage

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has recently confirmed that the dismissal of a Minister because of his marital difficulties could amount to direct discrimination on the grounds of marriage.

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Conflict resolution in the workplace

Conflict between colleagues can occur in all workplaces, regardless of their size and sector. How to deal with conflict effectively can become a time-consuming headache for all managers involved.

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Immigration Compliance - Are you adhering to the terms of your sponsorship?

As a sponsor of overseas staff or volunteers, allocating ‘key personnel’ is one of your responsibilities as a sponsor with a valid licence. The key personnel are your Authorising Officer, Key Contact and Level 1 user.

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School Uniform Policies, Religious Dress and the Legislative Framework

Recently, there has been considerable press attention surrounding uniform policies and religious clothing, more specifically regarding schools (largely those with a religious character) listing the (occasionally compulsory) wearing of the hijab by girls in primary schools. Schools of all faiths should be aware of the relevant legal framework when making and reviewing their uniform policies, to avoid any unnecessary challenges relating to religious dress.

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Changes to automatic disqualification rules for trustees and senior manager positions coming soon

From 1 August 2018 changes to the rules mean there will be more extensive restrictions on who can run a charity. The current automatic disqualification rules only apply to trustees. The rules are designed to protect charities from being run by people who meet certain criteria or have specific unspent convictions, unless they are authorised by a Charity Commission waiver to serve as a trustee.

The changes introduce new grounds of disqualification, and will for the first time also stop disqualified persons from being able to act in some charity senior manager positions. The roles concerned are those of Chief Executive and Chief Finance Officer, or the equivalent positions.

If an individual becomes disqualified as a result of the new rules coming into force on 1 August 2018, they can apply for a waiver of their disqualification using the application form that will be on the Commission’s website from 1 February 2018.

Charities will need to update their recruitment checks to ensure disqualified individuals will not be appointed as trustees or into senior manager positions. They will also need to check if any existing trustees or senior managers will be affected and take appropriate action where this is the case. Further guidance explaining the new rules and the waiver form will be available from the Commission later this month and this will be covered in further detail in a future edition of Lowdown.

Charity Commission guidance on converting a charitable company into a CIO

On 1 January 2018, it became possible to apply to the Charity Commission to convert a charitable company with annual income of less than £12,500 into a CIO. The Commission has implemented a phased timetable with applications from charities in larger income brackets being gradually phased in during this year. Commission has updated its guidance on changing a charity's structure to include further details of the process for converting a charitable company into a CIO. For further advice regarding a possible conversion, please contact your usual Stone King contact or Tim Rutherford.

Charity Essentials Training 2018

Our introduction session is essential for all charity trustees. The importance of the sessions offered at the Symposium varies depending upon the activities of your charity, but we recommend attending this session as it will highlight what you need to know as a charity trustee so you can recognise when further input is needed.

Built around the Charity Commission’s core guidance, CC3 “The Essential Trustee”, you will gain an understanding of the regulatory environment of the charity sector and use case studies to examine what good governance looks like in practice;

  • the role of the Charity Commission as regulator
  • key duties and liabilities of charity trustees
  • your role as a charity trustee

All sessions are interactive and a forum for you to ask as many questions as you can from expert advisors.

Please visit our website for dates and booking information.

The law and practice referred to in this article or webinar has been paraphrased or summarised. It might not be up-to-date with changes in the law and we do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided at the time of reading. It should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice in relation to a specific set of circumstances.

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