Please be aware that this page is updated weekly so please check back regularly for updates.

Covid 19 and HR Issues

As part of Big Advice Day on 16 June 2020 of Small Charity Week we organised a session led by Sonia Wilson of PopuloHR who specialises in HR support for charities and social enterprises. 18 local charities took part. You can find a list of questions here from the participants and Sonia’s notes and links here

You can hear an audio recording of the session by clicking below.

Covid19_amp__HR.mp3



COVID-19 guidance for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations

New government web page with links to other guidance.

Updated warnings on charity fraud

Action Fraud has updated its charity fraud page to include new trends and issues to look out for. See the full details here.  The Charity Commission has updated its guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19): increased risk of fraud and cybercrime against charities with added information about a coronavirus fraud webinar for charities and new links added to the ‘Scam emails (‘phishing’)’ and ‘Protect your devices’ sections.

Security checklist for homeworking

If you have concerns about the security of the IT systems you are using for homeworking, the ICO have created a new IT security checklists.

It will give you an initial overview of key issues to look out for and help you identify possible security issues.

The need to change approach to volunteering

An article in Civil Society reports on a webinar that highlights the need for charities to create more flexible and easier ways to access volunteering opportunities in order to capitalise on the willingness of people to get involved.

Warnings and advice about COVID-19 scams

Unscrupulous criminals are exploiting fears about COVID-19 to prey on members of the public, particularly older and vulnerable people who are isolated from family and friends. National Trading Standards is warning people to remain vigilant following a rise in coronavirus-related scams that seek to benefit from the public’s concern and uncertainty over COVID-19.

Friends Against Scams has issued guidance on the particular types of scams related to COVID-19 that have been identified. These include doorstep crime, online scams, refund scams, counterfeit goods plus several more. You can read the guidance here. It may be useful to distribute this amongst your users.

To help with the Charity Commission alert about increased examples of charity fraud the law firm Bates Wells also has a short article about what to look out for and what you can do.

Furlough leave in one handy guide

Key facts from CIPD about designating employees as furloughed workers and things to consider when implementing.

Furlough leave: the HMRC Job Retention Scheme

This free-to-attend ACAS webinar explains HMRC's scheme for employers who have furloughed their workers, or who are planning to. It includes:

  • who can claim
  • what can be claimed, and what's excluded
  • maternity leave considerations
  • National Minimum Wage considerations
  • effects on holiday entitlement
  • selecting employees for furlough and gaining agreement
  • shielding and furlough

Register your place:

Tuesday 12 May, 2pm to 3pm  |  register

Thursday 14 May, 10:30am to 11:30am  |  register

Volunteering and furloughing: What do we know?

This short guide  from NCVO sets out some of the issues for furloughed charity staff undertaking volunteering and how to support them.

Returning to Work guide

When this is all over many of us will have to manage people returning to work and there will be many options to consider. We will need to balance business and financial need, while continuing to keep people safe, and not force people to return to work if they feel uncomfortable or can't manage logistically. How people get to work safely will also be a critical consideration. CIPD have a new guide to the next phase of the crisis on returning to the workplace to help you start to plan those next steps.

FAQs and resources from LawWorks

LawWorks (provides pro bono advice to individuals and not for profits) has received many queries about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on small charities and other not-for-profits. In response, the charity has collaborated with its members to produce tailored briefs relevant specifically to small not-for-profit organisations. These focus on key questions, from “How do I furlough an employee?” and “Can an employee we have furloughed still volunteer for us?” to “How do we hold a remote board meeting / AGM?” and “Our landlord has asked our organisation to leave the premises due to the COVID-19 outbreak. What are our rights and can we challenge this?”.

You can find the resources here.

Make it Click: We’re all using video calls far more than ever before and Zoom in particular is now a ‘go to’ tool for professional and personal catch-ups. In this blog post from Make it Click, you can follow some relatively simple steps to make sure that your Zoom meetings are safe and secure.

COVID-19 Business Rates Reliefs and Grant Funding available to the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality sectors

The Charity Tax Group has produced a guide for charities to see if they can access government schemes, with worked examples, for:

  • Expanded Retail Discount
  • Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund
  • Small Business Grant Fund.

Communicating in a crisis: guides from Lloyds Bank Foundation

Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales (LBFEW) has a free Communications, Press and Influencing toolkit available online to help small charities communicate their stories and important information during a crisis, as well as during more ‘normal’ times!

This includes webinars that specifically refer to the COVID-19 outbreak and downloadable guides about social media, building your brand, creating video content, influencing and much more. You can find the toolkit here.

Superhighways has put together five top tips to avoid being ‘Zoom bombed’ i.e. letting people into your Zoom meetings who really shouldn’t be there, and possibly have something quite unsavoury to contribute… Take a look at the blog to keep your Zoom meetings secure.

A short blog from the Information Commissioners Office also gives some advice about safely using this technology which is new to many of us because of lock down.

Trustee Guidance

New brief guidance from the Charity Commission, particularly for small charities facing financial difficulties at the moment, that advises trustees to:

Step 1: Consider your current financial situation

Step 2: options for minimising costs and protecting and increasing income

Step 3: Keep the charity’s operations and finances under regular review and take any additional actions

With a final section about what to do if your charity cannot continue to operate because of the financial problems caused by COVID-19.

12 tips on social media advertising during the pandemic

Reason Digital has shared its experience plus the feedback from several charities they work with to produce a guide identifying some good examples and ideas which other charities can learn from, plus listing some things that charities can avoid when it comes to social media advertising. View the 12 tips here.

Helping people to help others

Public Health Dorset and LiveWell Dorset have been working to develop a virtual offer to build capacity in organisations supporting people’s wellbeing in response to Covid-19

The primary audience is colleagues in organisations (be they paid or voluntary) who through new or existing roles are providing support to the public such as covid helplines. They are developing a three module offer:

  • Module 1 Looking after oneself, based around the 5 ways to wellbeing, has gone live and to book on go to https://www.livewelldorset.co.uk/covid-19-information/#help ;
  • Module 2 (Reaching out to others – an introduction to healthy conversations) is being piloted next week, Friday 1st May 10.45 – 12. They would welcome volunteers for this pilot by contacting Lydia ([email protected])
  • Module 3 Enhanced skills based on audience needs as identified through delivery of modules 1 & 2

Manage financial difficulties in your charity caused by coronavirus

New brief guidance from the Charity Commission, particularly for small charities facing financial difficulties at the moment, that advises trustees to:

Step 1: Consider your current financial situation

Step 2: options for minimising costs and protecting and increasing income

Step 3: Keep the charity’s operations and finances under regular review and take any additional actions

With a final section about what to do if your charity cannot continue to operate because of the financial problems caused by COVID-19.

Government launches new coronavirus business support finder tool

A new ‘support finder’ tool will help businesses and self-employed people across the UK to quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic. The finder tool on GOV.UK will ask business owners to fill out a simple online questionnaire, which can take minutes to complete, and they will then be directed to a list of all the financial support they may be eligible for.