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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Passion and commitment alone is not enough to work in a charity says regulator

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OSCR has launched a new guide which aims to make Scottish charity law simpler for those working, volunteering or coming in to contact with a charity

The Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has launched a new booklet which attempts to make the basics of Scottish charity law easier to understand.

Designed to be used throughout a charity’s life, Being a Charity in Scotland uses simple graphics and straightforward language to help those who run Scottish charities understand their responsibilities.

It sets out the key points charities need to know about Scottish charity law. Within the guide there are links to detailed guidance pages contained on its website and it also has information on other organisations that can provide help and advice to charities.

The guide combines and condenses the Meeting the Charity Test: Guidance and Guidance and Good Practice for Charity Trustees. It has been developed for people looking to set up a charity, trustees of existing charities and people working in and with charities – especially smaller ones.

OSCR’s head of engagement, Dr Judith Turbyne, said it is key that those involved in charities have the know how to fulfil their legal responsibilities as well as being passionate about their cause.

“Scottish charities make a huge contribution to Scottish society,” she said. “As regulator we are in the privileged position of being able to get a glimpse of the breadth and depth of all that work.

“The passion and commitment that goes into starting and running Scottish charities by voluntary trustees is impressive. But passion alone is not enough. It is important to remember that these trustees have specific responsibilities.

“We are aware that, at times, these responsibilities might appear onerous. We are trying to ensure that it is as easy as possible for trustees and potential trustees to understand what they need to do when setting up and running a charity.

“We have produced this guide to be short and accessible, making compliance as easy as possible for all those who are running charities."

Being a Charity in Scotland is available online on the OSCR website.

Meanwhile, OSCR has now become an accredited Living Wage Employer.

The Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at the regulator, regardless of whether they are permanent employees or third-party contractors; paid at least £8.45 per hour.

Turbyne added: “There are great benefits to paying the Living Wage. Last year we began looking into what we had to do to receive the accreditation and the organisation is delighted to now have it.

“We are in our 10th year as Scotland’s charity regulator and hope this demonstrates the faith we have in our hard working staff.”

The move has been welcomed by the Poverty Alliance who deliver the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative in partnership with the Living Wage Foundation.

Director Peter Kelly said: “We are delighted to congratulate OSCR on becoming a Living Wage employer.

“The Living Wage is a crucial step to allow those in work to become more included in society, better provide for their families, and feel that their value and hard work is recognised.

“My hope is that more organisations follow the lead of OSCR by becoming accredited, making a public commitment to their staff and the wider community they are a fair dealing employer."