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Last updated June 2019

Policy News

News subjects related to UK legislation and guidance, with links to accompanying documents and details useful to ACO members and their clients.


  • Keep the Safety Net - A blue safety net in a childrens playground
    Welfare safety net

    Following Amber Rudd’s admission of the link between Universal Credit and increasing food bank use, the Work and Pensions Committee will question a broad group from the charity and public sectors on their responses to the “unholy trinity” − debt, hunger and homelessness − that been linked to the UK’s huge programme of welfare reform over the last decade.

  • Brexit Referendum - Results
    UK living standards since the 2016 referendum

    Household incomes are around £1,500 year lower today than they were expected to be before the Brexit referendum, with the UK having experienced the sharpest income growth slowdown of any economy for which the OECD publish data. This analysis shows that underperformance since 2016 is largely a UK-specific issue, with global growth over the whole period actually outperforming pre-referendum expectations.

  • Business rates - Closeup of Valuation office notice and small change
    Charitable business rates relief increases to £1.9bn

    Updated data on national non-domestic rates collected by local authorities in England 2017-18 have been published, revealing that relief provided to charitable occupations (that is both mandatory and discretionary relief) amounted to approx. £1.9 billion in respect of 2017-18. This is a £200m increase on the 2016-17 total which was £1.7bn.

  • The regulation of charity fundraising - Call centre worker sitting in front of his computer
    A Good Call

    The Institute of Fundraising has published “A Good Call: Using the Telephone for Successful Fundraising” to help fundraisers and charities develop stronger relationships with supporters.

  • Brexit - Jigsaw puzzle of EU flags and stars with one star removed, revealing the union jack
    Protecting people and places in poverty from Brexit

    An open letter from charitable organisations including Turn2us highlights what the Government can do to protect struggling families if the UK leaves the EU with no agreement

  • Minimum Income Standard - Troubled mother and child
    Households below MIS: 2008-2017

    This report looks in detail at the family and household characteristics of those below MIS, which is a benchmark for an adequate standard of living in the UK. It focuses in particular on three demographic groups – children, working-age adults and pensioners.

  • Old Age - Graphics from an Ipsos MORI
    Britons "overwhelmingly negative" about growing older

    This report looks at ageing societies and their challenges and opportunities. The media have obsessed about “Millennials” as disruptors, but in fact ageing – which will affect every generation – is having even larger effects.

  • Fundraising - coffee cup , glasses and a small blackboard with the word 'fundraising' witten on it
    Important change to FPS

    Announced on February 13th, an important change to the Fundraising Preference Service will come into effect on 1st March 2019. From this date, charities will have 21 days to action a suppression request, instead of 28 days.

  • Gift Aid - Small pastel coloured gift boxes representing gift aid donations
    Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme increase

    Announced in the Autumn Budget 2018, the maximum donation upon which a charity can claim a Gift Aid style top-up payment under the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme is to be increased from £20 to £30 effective from 6th April 2019.

  • Department of Work and Pensions - DWP headquarters, Caxton House in London
    Benefit and pension rates 2019 to 2020

    The annual up-rating of benefits will take place for state pensions and most other benefits in the first full week of the tax year. In 2019, this will be the week beginning 8th April. A corresponding provision will be made in Northern Ireland and the Scottish Government will lay out its own statutory instruments to make these increases to Carer’s Allowance in Scotland.

  • Council Tax - Closeup of demand for council tax
    Local authorities 'plan to raise council tax'

    Almost all councils in England plan to increase council tax and many will be cutting services, research from the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) suggests, with three-quarters of local authorities set to increase tax by more than 2.5% from April.

  • Youth Index - The Princes Trust
    Youth Index 2019

    The tenth Youth Index is a national survey that gauges young people’s happiness and confidence levels across a range of areas, from their working life to their physical and mental health.

  • Fraud investigation - Closeup of files in filing cabinet titled Fraud and Investigations
    Dealing with wrongdoing and harm

    The Charity Commission has published its annual report on work to protect charities and deal with any wrongdoing or abuse. The report includes lessons for trustees, and issues that came up in 2017-18 that all trustees should be aware of and make sure will not affect their charity.

  • Brexit - Graphics showing france and southern england with scissors and dotted line where to cut
    Data protection laws

    Government has issued guidance to help business and charities continue to comply with data protection law after 29th March.

  • Brexit: is your organisation prepared? - CFG Survey
    Brexit: is your organisation prepared?

    Over a third of charities have made no preparations at all for a no-deal Brexit. Only 8% are fully aware of the impact it will have on their charity and have made adequate preparations, according to a Charity Finance Group survey.

  • Wills and Probate - Conceptual image
    Probate applications move online

    The service enables people to apply, pay and swear a statement of truth online – saving time and offering convenience to those dealing with bereavement.

  • Pension - Folder in filing cabinet titled 'Pension'
    Pension contribution increase to hit pay packets

    Since 2012, 10 million eligible workers have been automatically signed up to workplace pensions. From April, contributions will rise from 3% of salary to 5%.

  • Consultation on GDPR guidance on contracts and liabilities between controllers and processors - Close-up of a fictional key on a computer keyboard entitled 'Data Security'
    What do businesses need to do to prepare?

    When the UK leaves the EU there may be changes to the rules governing the use of personal data. This will affect organisations that operate internationally or exchange personal data with organisations in other countries.

  • Data and website policy - Woman in library using her laptop computer
    Data Protection if there is no EU Exit deal

    In the event that the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal, UK businesses will need to ensure they continue to be compliant with data protection law. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be brought into UK law, meaning that current GDPR standards and existing guidance will continue to apply to businesses operating within the UK.

  • Workplace bullying - Distressed woman at work with colleagues seemingly ridiculing her
    Leading safe cultures

    A new research project will examine bullying in the charity sector. It is funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as part of a programme of work called “Protecting people from harm” in the domestic charity sector, which was formed in response to reports of sexual exploitation, harassment and bullying in the media last year.