Disproportionate number of charity staff ‘paid below the living wage’

A report from the Living Wage Foundation says 26 per cent of sector staff are in that category, with the figure at 21 per cent for the overall workforce

The proportion of workers in the voluntary sector paid less than the living wage is higher than the UK average, research has found.

A new report compiled by the Living Wage Foundation says that 26 per cent of charity workers earn less than the living wage, compared with 21 per cent of the overall UK workforce.

The living wage is a voluntary rate that is higher than the minimum wage and takes into account the cost of living in the UK and in London.

Living wage rates, which are set by the Living Wage Commission, increased this week to £8.75 an hour in the UK and £10.20 an hour in London, up by 30p and 45p per hour respectively on last year’s rates. The minimum wage for people aged over 25 is £7.50 an hour.

The report, which has been released as part of Living Wage Week, is based on data collected by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and taken from those in the Office for National Statistics’ Labour Force Survey who identified as working for a charity, voluntary organisation or trust from an overall sample size of about 40,000 households.

Researchers found that slightly more than 30 per cent of women in the voluntary sector earned less than the living wage, compared with 21 per cent of men.

They found that 73 per cent of low-paid workers in the voluntary sector were women, even though they made up only 65 per cent of the workforce.

And they found that slightly more than half of charity workers aged between 20 and 24 were paid less than the living wage, but this was slightly below the average for this age group in the workforce as a whole.

Small charities were found to be more likely than larger organisations to pay below the living wage, the researchers found.

Workers in residential care were the most likely to be paid less than the living wage, the report says.

People from ethnic minority backgrounds were particularly affected by low pay, it says, but this might have been down to their under-representation among respondents.

Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said the report showed that low pay remained a “real challenge across the charity sector”.

She called for a collaborative approach among charities to ensure that those working in the sector could earn wages that met the cost of living.

“The good news is that more than 800 charities have already signed up as living wage employers,” she said. “We look forward to working with funders, commissioners and charity employers to highlight the benefits of investing in responsible wages, such as increased morale, motivation and staff retention, and reduced absenteeism.”

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the NCVO, said there was a “clear moral, economic and business case” for increasing the wages of the lowest paid.

“Wherever possible, I would encourage charities to consider becoming living wage employers,” he said.

Source link

Amount paid in audit fees by top 5,000 charities rises by more than £2m

A new report from the data firm Charity Financials also shows Crowe Clark Whitehill earned the most in fees in the past year

The overall amount paid out in audit fees by the top 5,000 charities has increased by 4.4 per cent, according to a new report.

The data provider Charity Financials’ Charity Audit Spotlight for 2017, which is based on scrutiny of the latest accounts for the 5,000 largest UK charities, shows that audit fees cost them a total of £69.4m.

In comparison, last year’s Charity Audit Spotlight showed that the UK’s largest charities paid more than £67m in audit fees, which was itself a 2.5 per cent increase on the previous year. 

The report found that the audit firm Crowe Clark Whitehill has the largest market share, earning £5.7m in fees and accounting for 8.2 per cent of the market.

PricewaterhouseCoopers earned more than £4.6m in fees from charities and BDO earned almost £4.5m, the report says.

But rival audit firm haysmacintyre had the most charity clients in the top 5,000 with 263, followed by CCW with 240 and RSM with 236.

Haysmacintyre also gained the most new clients for the second year running, the report shows, with 30 charities appointing the firm and paying fees worth a combined £449,000.

The report says that while 328 charities changed auditor in their latest set of accounts, 27 per cent of the top 5,000 charities have not changed their auditor in the past decade.

The largest charity to change auditor was the Wellcome Trust – which is the UK’s richest charity – which paid Deloitte £300,000 to audit its latest set of accounts, the report says.

PwC audits the largest amount of charity income, the report shows, with £5.65bn scrutinised by the firm this year.

Source link

Charity has paid £500k to the Official Custodian for Charities

The Jewish charity the Reb Moishe Foundation has been the subject of a Charity Commission probe, and is appealing two orders to hand funds to the custodian

A Jewish poverty and education charity that is appealing against two Charity Commission orders to hand over funds has so far paid £500,000 to the Official Custodian for Charities, the custodian’s accounts for the 2016/17 financial year show.

The document shows that £500,000 from the Reb Moishe Foundation has been safeguarded since 5 July 2016 by the custodian, a holding service that protects disputed charitable property.

It is the first time the amount of funds received by the custodian from the charity has been disclosed.

The amount received by the custodian is only a partial settlement of the amount requested by the Charity Commission.

The charity’s sole trustee has appealed to the charity tribunal against two orders to hand over funds to the custodian as part of the regulator’s statutory inquiry into the charity.

Since 2015, the Reb Moishe Foundation has been the subject of a Charity Commission investigation of a £2m loan the charity made in 2006 to a company called Gladstar.

The charity’s sole trustee, Jacob Plitnick, is the director of Gladstar. The commission was alerted to the loan in late 2014 by HM Revenue & Customs.

Plitnick was ordered by the commission to hand the funds over, but made only a partial payment, according to the regulator. A further order was made on 21 July 2016. Both orders are being appealed by Plitnick at the charity tribunal.

The Charity Commission’s inquiry into the charity is continuing, and the inquiry is also looking at other issues associated with the charity’s relationship with Gladstar, such as reductions in the interest payable on the loan and the fact that Gladstar was running at a significant deficit.

The charity’s accounts for 2013 – the latest accounts at the time the investigation was opened – showed it was owed more than £2.3m by Gladstar.

The amount owed by Gladstar to the charity rose to £2.6m by the end of 2015, according to the charity’s accounts for that year, with an interest rate of 10 per cent a year.

In contrast, the charity had an income of £213,307 in 2013 and spent £49,180. Its 2015 accounts showed the charity had an income of £181,443 and spent £75,662.

A further directions hearing about Plitnick’s appeal against the order to hand over further funds to the custodian will be heard later this month.

Source link

Fundraising Regulator will name charities that have not paid its levy

Of the 1,768 charities that have been asked to pay the voluntary levy to fund the regulator’s costs, 200 have either refused or ignored requests for payment

The Fundraising Regulator will, at the end of August, name the charities that have so far failed to pay the fundraising levy, it announced today.  

The regulator said it would publish a list at the end of next month, the close of the first levy year, disclosing the names of the eligible charities that have and have not paid the levy. All charities that spend more than £100,000 a year on fundraising have been asked to pay the voluntary levy, which covers the regulator’s running costs.

The regulator said today that of the 1,768 charities eligible to pay, 1,344 had paid or committed to paying, 224 were in negotiation with the regulator about payment, 35 had declined to pay and 165 had not replied. 

The decision to name the organisations that have not paid comes after Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Sector Organisations, called on the regulator to “name and shame” the non-payers. Etherington conducted a review of fundraising self-regulation in 2015, which called for the creation of a new Fundraising Regulator after the national press criticised fundraising practices.

On 10 July, the regulator published a list of all those organisations that had registered with the Fundraising Regulator, but it did not include the names of the eligible charities that had not. The existing register includes charities that have paid the levy and those which, because they spend less than £100,000 a year on fundraising, fall outside the levy but have registered their support.

The Fundraising Regulator said in statement today that its board had concluded it would be in the interests of transparency and fairness to disclose the complete list of those charities that had and had not paid.

It said that before doing so it would contact all non-respondents again and had asked the NCVO and the Institute of Fundraising to contact the small number of those that are their members to encourage them to pay the levy. The list will also be shared with the Charity Commission.

Lord Grade of Yarmouth, chair of the regulator’s board, said: “The public generously supports charities, so their commitment to good fundraising practice is of vital importance. For charities spending more than £100,000 a year on fundraising, paying the levy is a very clear sign of their commitment to ensuring the maintenance of excellent fundraising standards and professionalism.”

Etherington said that paying the levy demonstrated a commitment to good practice and showing the charities that had paid and the small proportion that had not was fair to all concerned. 

Peter Lewis, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising, said: “Fundraisers absolutely want the Fundraising Regulator to succeed. I would encourage all fundraising charities to sign up to support the regulator and pay the levy as appropriate.”

The proposal to name and shame organisations has faced opposition within the sector.

Earlier this month, Jay Kennedy, director of policy and research at the Directory of Social Change, told Third Sector: “Naming and shaming is at best premature and at worst will just damage the sector’s reputation further with more crappy headlines. It could also damage the reputations of any charities that are unfairly castigated in print.”

Kennedy said some charities might not have paid because choosing to do so was a strategic decision for the board that they might not have been able to make yet. 

Source link