Consultations – Charity Newsletter Autumn 2019

These articles were featured in our Autumn 2019 Charity Newsletter. To read the newsletter in full, please click here.

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Sexual harassment

The Government Equalities Office has undertaken a consultation about whether the current laws on protecting people from sexual harassment in the workplace are effective. This is an issue of particular relevance for many charities as the nature of their often challenging work can expose their employees and volunteers to the potential for sexual harassment to take place.

The consultation sought to gain an understanding of people’s experiences, focussing on some particular issues that it might be possible to address through changes to the law, namely:

  • how to make sure employers take all the steps they can to prevent harassment from happening
  • strengthening and clarifying the law so it is clear employers should protect their staff from being harassed by clients, customers, or other people from outside their organisation
  • whether interns and volunteers are adequately protected by current laws, and
  • whether people should be given longer to take a harassment, discrimination or victimisation claim to an Employment Tribunal.

The consultation process has now ended. Responses will be analysed and used to inform any future changes to the law.

Register of charitable trusts

Earlier in the year HM Treasury consulted on its proposals on how to implement the EU’s Fifth Money Laundering Directive into UK law. One of the proposals is to extend the existing registration requirement for UK tax-paying trusts to all UK trusts whether they pay tax or not, including charitable trusts which have not generally been required to register under the current system. There would be no exceptions and no minimum registration threshold.

As part of the proposals it has been suggested that existing registration services could be used for particular trust types to avoid duplication, so those charities already required to register with one of the charity regulators should not need to register again. However, charitable trusts which currently have no obligation to register with a regulator, generally because of their small size, would now need to register.

The consultation ended in June and the outcome is awaited.

Northern Ireland charity registration and annual return

CCNI is consulting on proposed changes to the charity registration process and annual return including a series of new and updated questions that are intended to gather a range of information on the charity sector. The questions cover topics such as safeguarding, data protection and fundraising that are seen as being of significance to both the regulator and the wider public. Consultation end date: 22 October 2019. Any resulting changes to take effect in 2020.