On March 29 if the UK leaves the EU with a “no deal”, the voluntary sector will need to review several high-risk areas. One of which is the impact on employment and voluntary workers.
A report by Charity Finance Group (CFG) published in December says that as things currently stand, “Brexit will be bad for charities and bad for their beneficiaries”. We agree with CFG and would go as far as saying that the only certainty is that we will have a long period of uncertainty for the sector!
From what we can digest from the current withdrawal deal on the table, there are no guarantees on the level of funding available to charities. To be fair there never was any, however there was some clarity with the European Social Fund (ESF). This fund would have guaranteed £258million distributed amongst the third sector in the UK. The main uncertainty is will this level of funding remain the same? We have been told that the current ESF will be replaced by UK Shared Prosperity fund (UKSPF) but there is not much detail about this. We are aware that the ESF will be available until 2020, so there will be some extra time for charities to obtain funding, however very little detail has emerged on the UKSPF regarding what charities will be eligible and how it will be distributed.
In regard to immigration, the end of free movement of people will be the biggest impact to charities. This will result in difficulties to hire workers regardless of paid employees or unpaid voluntary work. The government is advising EU nationals living and/or working in the UK to apply for its ‘settlement scheme’. Otherwise, in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit there might be implications for their residence and employment status after the end of 2020. The Home Office has issued a toolkit for employers, providing them with communication materials to share with their employees
Caron Bradshaw, chief executive of the CFG, called on the government to take action to avoid Brexit becoming a disaster for charities.
“Based on what we know so far, there is a very high risk that charities are going to be saddled with all the costs of Brexit and none of the potential benefits,” she said.
Earlier this week, Radio 4’s Nick Robinson asked President Macron’s, Ambassador for International Investment and Chairman of the board at Business France, Pascal Cagni, will the UK leave the EU on March the 29th his answer was “I think it will get delayed”. Let’s all hope, that the predicted impact on the wider economy including new trade deals, he is right.
If you had any questions on Brexit and want to know how your charity will be affected, please contact Suda on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 8551 7200.
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