ACEVO Guest Blog – Time for Change: A Challenge for Charities?

Elizabeth Judson, Ellis Whittam
Elizabeth Judson, Ellis Whittam

It may be in the best interests of your charity to make changes to its organisational structure.

For many charities such changes are necessary in the current climate as a result of the more competitive tendering environment and reduced availability and access to both restricted and unrestricted funding.

 

Ask yourself…

• Is the structure of your organisation fit for purpose in the current climate or has it become outdated and no longer cost effective and efficient?

• Do you have enhanced terms and conditions that are putting pressure on your organisation’s finances?

• Are you bidding for funding and contracts but unsure of the legal and cost implications of acquiring employees assigned to those contracts, or the procedure required for transferring a contract to another organisation?

Planning for change…

It is essential that in planning for change you know and understand the inherent legal risks when you attempt to restructure any organisation.

Restructuring often involves:

• changing terms and conditions

• reducing head count

• recruiting different types of employees

• bidding for new contracts or refocusing efforts elsewhere

All of these areas have an impact on employees and can lead to potentially costly outcomes for charities if they are not done fairly or correctly.

being able to quantify properly the potential risks of ‘getting it wrong’ is essential.

That means understanding the contractual restraints you may face, statutory hurdles that have to be leaped and how best to ‘future proof’ your organisation.  In addition to this, the trustees of your organisation have a duty to be aware of employment law and take legal advice as and when required.

Understanding the costs involved, as well as being able to quantify properly the potential risks of ‘getting it wrong’ is essential.

 it is essential that CEOs have a firm grasp of the law around service provision or funding changes

In any service delivery contract changes, it is essential that CEOs have a firm grasp of the law around service provision or funding changes sufficient to know when they should be seeking advice and guidance and are aware of any legislative changes.

Changing terms and conditions for staff and making redundancies also need careful planning, appreciating the timescales and employee consultation that may be involved in achieving desired outcomes.

When a restructure may lead to redundancies there are additional factors that need to be considered and steps to take to avoid the risk of a dismissal being found to be unfair.

 

If you require any further information call Jane Cuffin at Ellis Whittam on 0845 226 8393

 

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