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Covid-19 update 4 (for Charities). Tuesday 24th March 2020

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has advised the following;

  • AGM’s – OSCR advises; “It may be that by postponing your AGM, you are not fulfilling what it says in your governing document. However, we would be understanding and proportionate about that. We would still ask you to send as much as you can by your deadline, where possible.” For those Charities that partner with us, we “have your back” and will monitor the situation for each Charity and make sure that you are compliant.
  • Virtual Trustee’s meetings  – OSCR advises; “Where it isn’t going to be possible to get together face-to-face, holding meetings virtually could be a good option. Some charities have specific provisions in their governing documents to allow meetings to take place over the phone or using digital solutions. However, in the current situation, we are happy that charities hold their meetings in this way even if the governing document doesn’t say anything about this. This will allow charity trustees to have important discussions and to take decisions at this difficult time. Where you decide to take this virtual route, you should record that they have done this, thus demonstrating good governance of your charity”.  All Charities that we are involved with will be OK to hold on line Trustee meetings. Some even have the abilitiy already from their cosntitution. (we included in your constitution).
  • Reserves – OSCR advises; “Many charities will come under financial pressure as income sources change or disappear and demand for charity services and activities increases. As always, it will be important for charity trustees to understand the financial situation of their charity and act accordingly. Where the charity has reserves then the use of these to help the charity continue to deliver its activities will potentially be an option but trustees should also take account of any plans that the charity had to use those reserves, as it may not then be possible to deliver on those plans.” So, this is what Reserves are for in the first place. You can use them for emergencies such as times like this.

OSCR have comments on other issues which you can access here.

Don’t forget that the UK Government has a new site for Covid-19 help for business here.

The Scottish Government has help here.

Excellent information and more links from the Church of Scotland here.

More updates coming soon for the self employed.

Peter