Residential property

Advising on the complexities of the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulators inquiry

We assisted a charity in dealing with a disruptive member of staff, providing guidance to the board on the various steps required to comply with their obligations as employers while supporting them in dealing with this difficult individual.

In the end we helped negotiate the exit of the employee and drafted a severance agreement detailing the agreement between the charity and employee and the terms of her leaving.

Shortly after, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) contacted the charity to advise of an anonymous complaint that had been received in relation to various actings of the board, including decisions taken around staffing issues and alleged breaches of trustees’ duties under the Charity Law regulations. With significance experience in dealing with OSCR we knew exactly the requirements needed to support and justify the trustees’ actions and help allay their concerns.

Liaising with the trustees to form a solid understanding on the various issues that had taken place, we requested copies of Minutes from all meetings as well as documentation relating to financial records. From this we pulled together a robust and evidenced response to OSCR, and as a result received confirmation that the evidence was sufficient in alleviating their concerns, meaning there was no requirement to take the inquiry further on any of the points raised by the complainant.

A significantly positive outcome for the charity however, had they not sought advice from us (both in terms of employment law and the inquiry) the situation could have lead to a lengthy, protracted process causing stress to all of the individuals involved and ultimately, detracting from the charity’s overall aims.

It’s important for charities not only to do the right thing but to be seen to do the right thing and have the right policies and procedures in place to evidence and justify their actings, should anyone raise concerns.

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