We would like to offer our thanks to our faith clients who attended our Advent Series of webinars during December. We appreciate that the Christmas period is an extremely busy time for many of you but hope that you have found some benefit and value in the topics covered by the series.
In case you missed them, please find below a summary of each session that we hope you will find useful.
In this webinar, Stone King Partner Chris Sharpe highlighted some key matters for faith charities to consider in connection with managing their property estate, including guidance around land registration and conservation covenants under the new Environment Act 2021 and a run-down of potential options and issues around third-party tenancy arrangements, including EPCs, electronic signing and end of occupation considerations.
Chris also touched on COVID-related matters, including collecting commercial and residential rents at this time. He concluded his whistle-stop presentation with a review of the changes that charities should be aware of in the property sphere resulting from the imminent Charities Bill.
Julie Moktadir, Head of Immigration and Partner at Stone King presented on international movement post Brexit and pandemic. She discussed a number of key aspects relating to the movement of ministers of religion and religious workers and shared experience of changes since the introduction of the new points-based system and during the pandemic.
There were some excellent questions raised and attendees had opportunities to share their own experiences and raise their own queries. Julie shared the one key message: that if you have international movement in the coming months, to consider sponsorship in plenty of time. The Home Office is overwhelmed with applications currently and a number of organisations are being delayed in bringing religious workers in, due to the length of time applications are taking.
On Wednesday 15 December Partner and Head of Stone King’s International and Cross-Border Team, Dan Harris, briefly spoke about cross-border Will and probate complications for faith charities.
The topics covered included the validity of Wills overseas and issues regularly encountered with Wills covering assets in multiple jurisdictions, and how inexperienced or incompetent Will drafting can cause difficulties with enforcement and revocation.
Dan finished the presentation by discussing how forced heirship provisions can be difficult for charities and how inheritance tax can be an issue in some foreign jurisdictions, as well as how these types of issues can, in some cases, be overcome.
Harriet Broughton, Partner in the Employment Team, presented on reflections on lessons from the pandemic and opportunities for the future. Harriet explored a number of issues that have affected faith charities this year including the end of furlough; the increase in whistleblowing complaints; the increase in homeworking; the impact of stress on relationships between trustees and leaders; and the impact on mental health and wellbeing. Harriet concluded by looking at the introduction of vaccines for CQC registered care homes and CQC regulated activities, and what options were available for those working outside those settings. There are likely challenges in the year to come as charities recover from the impact of the pandemic and look to move operations forward in the ever-changing “new normal”.
We have had an exciting year supporting our faith-based clients with their charities, bringing ministers of religion to the UK, and assisting on various areas of the law which impact these worthwhile organisations and their important causes.
The Stone King team love to work within the faith community and we would like to take this opportunity to extend a sincere thank you to all our faith-based clients, for your instructions and support during 2021.
For now, we would like to wish you all a peaceful and joyful Christmas and a happy and healthy 2022.
We look forward to working with you in the coming year.
Julie Moktadir and the Stone King team.