Charities and COVID-19

We have pulled together sources of advice and guidance about the coronavirus for charity facilities managers and their colleagues managing buildings, safety and risk in the voluntary sector.

A man putting up a COVID social distancing sign.

Amberley Museum in Sussex reopened in July after being closed for four months because of coronavirus. Here volunteer Ian Barnett puts up a COVID-19 safety sign in a workshop at the museum. (Photo: Amberley Museum via Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0)

Charity fms have been at the forefront of helping their organisations respond to COVID-19. This page lists guidance which may help charities and voluntary organisations to respond to the pandemic, both in the workplace and in relation to other charitable and voluntary activities.

The most important documents are the guidance notes published by the UK government listed at the start of the page. 

(Note: Information is changing all the time. Please always check publication dates of resources, as both regulations and advice are changing frequently. We do not take responsibility for the information given.)

Government guidance

All government advice is set out on the  Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support hub on the gov.uk website.

The section on Work and financial support during coronavirus is most relevant for FMs. This section has 14 guides covering different types of work or work environments, including:

Seven steps to make offices COVID-19 secure

For offices, the guidance lists seven key actions:

  1. Complete a COVID-19 risk assessment. 

  2. Clean more often. 

  3. Ask your visitors to wear face coverings where required to do so by law.

  4. Make sure everyone is social distancing. 

  5. Increase ventilation.

  6. Take part in NHS Test and Trace.

  7. Turn people with coronavirus symptoms away. 

All charity FMs should read and follow the full guidance documents.

The government website also has a guide on how to carry out a risk assessment and make adjustments.

Undertaking risk assessments can be a difficult process to understand, we have also published a page on how to conduct a risk assessment.

Advice on specific issues: 

Many organisations are publishing information about specific issues. Sources of COVID-19 advice which may be helpful for charities and voluntary groups are listed below:

Business rates: The government has introduced a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses. It is not easy to figure out whether charities may be eligible. The Charity Tax Group has produced a guide with worked examples

Churches: The Church of England has published guidance for churches

Employee relations:  Acas, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, has published advice on employee relations, shielding and furloughs.

Finance:

Fundraising: The Fundraising Regulator has produced guidance on public fundraising for charities and other fundraising organisations.

Higher-risk groups: the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published guidance on protecting vulnerable workers

Home working: the HSE has provided a summary of health and safety for home workers

Individual health and the test and trace process: NHS coronavirus information and advice 

Returning to work: The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) has guidance on how to prepare for a return to work.

Water bills: The water regulator OfWat offers this advice says support is available to business customers who may be struggling to pay their water and wastewater bills. It says: "In the first instance, you should contact your retailer. All retailers are required to offer eligible customers a ‘Covid-19 Repayment Scheme’ to enable customers to pay what they are able to afford over an agreed timescale."

Village halls: The organisation ACRE is publishing guidance for village halls and those operating community centres in rural areas.

 

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