General Election 2024

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Government policy and funding round-up: November 2023

Policy and influencing lead, Rebecca Young, shares updates on our influencing work, government policy and funding announcements.

Charity sector election manifesto

Ahead of next year’s general election, we’re working with ACEVO to develop a manifesto on behalf of the charity sector.

The manifesto will present a range of ways the next government can work with charities to make a positive difference.

We want to make sure the manifesto truly represents the charity and volunteering sector. We need to know what your priorities and challenges are, and what you think the sector should be asking for.

You can share your thoughts via our simple online feedback form.

The feedback form closes on 16 February 2024, but the earlier you can send feedback the better.

New anti-terrorism bill

The terrorism (protection of premises) bill, also known as Martyn’s Law, is intended to protect the public from terrorism in public venues with a capacity of over 100.

The bill will require people who are responsible for certain locations to consider the threat from terrorism. It will also require them to take steps to reduce the threat.

There will be two tiers of requirements:

  • ‘enhanced’ for venues with a capacity of above 800
  • ‘standard’ for venues between 100 and 799.

The bill has gone through pre-legislative scrutiny. We’re told there will be a further consultation, particularly on the requirements that apply to voluntary organisations. We’re speaking to officials about what these requirements will be.

If your organisation is concerned about meeting these new requirements, get in touch.

Pre-employment checks for volunteers

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) recently launched a consultation on pre-employment checks for volunteers.

The consultation proposed removing the need for full pre-employment checks for volunteers giving their time to regulated Care Quality Commission services. These checks are currently required in addition to DBS checks.

We responded in support of volunteers not having to give a full employment history. We think this creates barriers to volunteering, and there are other ways services can assess the suitability of the volunteer.

We’ll share an update once there’s an official response

Charity banking challenges

The charity regulators in England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland recently wrote an open letter to the chief executives of all banks.

The letter urges them to address the unnecessary challenges of charity banking.

We continue to work closely with the regulators and voluntary sector infrastructure bodies to improve banking services for the sector.

Charity membership subscriptions

The digital markets, competition and consumers bill has returned to the House of Commons.

Some charities have raised concerns about new rules around auto-renewing subscriptions and Gift Aid. The measures would contradict the Gift Aid requirement that there is no condition of repayment. It’s currently unclear whether charity membership subscriptions would be covered by the legislation.

We’re working with a number of organisations to ensure this issue is resolved. If you’d like to be involved in this work, please email policy@ncvo.org.uk.

Code of Fundraising Practice consultation

The Fundraising Regulator is currently consulting on its review of the Code of Fundraising Practice.

The consultation is open until 1 December.

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