The Charity Commission (‘the Commission’), the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, is issuing this alert to charities as regulatory advice under section 15(2) of the Charities Act 2011.
It has published this alert to charities following a number of serious incidents reported to the Commission, and recent public interest about accusations of harassment in the work place, including media reporting about some safeguarding incidents which have affected charity beneficiaries, charity workers or other persons coming into contact with charities.
The Charity Commission’s recently updated safeguarding strategy makes clear that safeguarding should be a key governance priority for all charities, not just those working with groups traditionally considered at risk.
Everybody has the right to be safe, no matter who they are or what their circumstances are, and the public expects charities, quite rightly, to be safe and trusted places.
The Commission is reminding charities of the importance of:
- providing a safe and trusted environment which safeguards anyone who comes into contact with it including beneficiaries, staff and volunteers
- setting an organisational culture that prioritises safeguarding, so that it is safe for those affected to come forward and report incidents and concerns with the assurance they will be handled sensitively and properly
- having adequate safeguarding policies, procedures and measures to protect people
- providing clarity as to how incidents and allegations will be handled should they arise, including reporting to the relevant authorities, such as the Commission.