Legal issues

Fact sheets

What to do if you have to dissolve a Friends Group
As of 1st October 2009, the Companies Act 2006 was brought fully into legislation. Here are some of the changes.
A conflict of interest is any situation in which a trustee’s personal interests, interests they have to another committee and interests they have to their charity arise simultaneously or appear to clash.
The Scottish Government has recently published a consultation paper on proposed changes to the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 (“the 2005 Act”) and the Charities Accounts (Scotland) Regulations 2006.
Many Friends Groups and charities need to keep accurate membership details for legal purposes, but holding personal data means the charity should be aware of the Data Protection Act and its particulars.
The term personal data refers to information about a living individual, from which that individual is identifiable.
Fraud is a real threat to an organisation not only financially but also to its image and reputation.
The guidance notes for a model constitution can be found here.
There are a variety of legal structures available for charities. We have highlighted some of them below.
‘When, where and who am I allowed to photograph?’ - A brief guide to the legislation and etiquette surrounding taking photographs.
The challenging economic climate has prompted the trustees of many Attend members to review their charity’s financial position. Some will be asking themselves whether they would be better off establishing their Friends Group as a charitable company to get the protection of limited liability.
When holding an event there are certain rules and regulations. It is useful for charities to be aware of these considered below.
Often there is confusion between workers and volunteers.The questions comes up whether you have a worker or a volunteer and are they to be paid the national minimum wage. Here are some definitions that will help you decide whether you have a volunteer or a worker.
Who is covered by NHS Indemnity? NHS bodies are liable at law for the negligent acts and omissions of their staff in the course of their NHS employment.
Phonographic Performance Limited(PPL),an organisation that deals with collecting royalties in the UK for the music industry, requires that a license be obtained in order to play music at a public event.
PRS stands for the Performing Right Society and is an organisation that deals with collecting royalties in the UK, as well as internationally, for the music industry. A PRS license may be necessary to play music at a public event.
Guideance for cross border charities
If you commission someone to take photographs on your behalf, whether they are paid or unpaid, you will need to draw up a contract. Without a signed agreement that the photographs have been taken for your use, the copyright remains with the Photographer. Without the copyright you cannot legally publish the photograph.
It is not a legal requirement in the UK, but it is wise to get a signed release form from the person or people you are photographing, this means that you know that they are happy to be photographed and for that photograph to be used and reproduced by you.
Advice for retail outlets selling medicine
Roger Chester, Finance Director of Lionheart, offers a ‘how-to’ guide and advice on what to look out for.
The new Disability Discrimination Act was passed by Parliament in April 2005 which amends or extends existing provisions of the DDA 1995, the Act was again amended in December 2006.
Currently, there isn’t any legislation or legal definitions discussing volunteer workers. It is therefore important that organisations be careful of volunteers becoming employees according to the law. Therefore, it’s important for organisations to clearly differentiate between volunteers and employees.
The following 'undertaking' is a form of words ('contract'), which Friends groups can use to safeguard their funds and patients & community interests when contributing equipment and small scale facilities to primary, secondary or any other public service providers


External factsheets & publications

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Becoming Incorporated
A Charity Commission publication
Bribery Act 2010
A Sayer Vincent factsheet
Mental health toolkit for prosecutors and advocates
A Mind Publication
New laws in music copyright licences
An NCVO Publication
The Vetting & Barring Scheme Guidance
An HM Government publication

Useful links

This content is available to Attend members only.
If you are a member log in here, or if you would like to join us why not sign up today.
Companies House
Criminal Records Bureau
Crowe Clark Whitehill
Get Legal
Hempsons News Briefs
Indepentent Safeguarding Authority
Informatino Commissioner's Office
Legal Update for Voluntary Organisations
NHS Litigation Authority: Scheme coverage for volunteers
Russell Cooke Solicitors
The Law Society
Workplace Law Network