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Charity Commission withdraws criticised Covid-19 guidance

Charity Commission withdraws criticised Covid-19 guidance

The has withdrawn its guidance advising charities that they might have to report a serious incident if affected by the pandemic.

The Commission issued the advice last week, which said:

“The virus may result in incidents which should be reported as a serious incident to the Charity Commission, but these need to lead to a significant on your charity.”

The original guidance said this would include if a charity had to stop all or a significant part of its work due to , as well as the cancellation of a event if it might result in significant loss of expected funds and/or insolvency issues. The Commission also said that if coronavirus resulted in insolvency issues for some other reason, this would also need to be reported.

However, the guidance drew criticism from the sector for its tone and for the extra burden of work it would place on charities at a difficult time.

The Commission has now acknowledged that it was not as helpful as it says it intended, and withdrawn it.

It now says:

“During the current uncertainty surrounding the spread of coronavirus, charities are urged to check the most up to date advice from Public Health England.

“We’ve received many enquiries into our call centre about the reporting process on RSI. Unfortunately, our initial response was not as helpful as we would have liked. Therefore, we would like to clarify that charities should continue to report serious incidents using the current guidelines and their own judgement and we will advise if and when this situation changes.”


Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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