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Yesterday, the Charity Commission published a regulatory alert on safeguarding, alongside a case report on a charity.

The regulatory alert has been issued following a number of serious incidents that have been 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 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 that are traditionally considered at risk.

What we are starting to see here is the extension of the principles of safeguarding beyond vulnerable beneficiaries, such as children, to staff members, or others who may come into contact with a charity, echoing the points made in our bulletin last month Sexual Harassment – From Weinstein to Westminster: A Safeguarding Perspective.

The Commission's regulatory alert also reminds charities that trustees are ultimately responsible for safeguarding, and that they are therefore accountable if something goes wrong in a charity and are expected to take responsibility for putting things right. There can be little doubt that safeguarding in the wider sense that it is being used should be on every charity's, and indeed every organisation's, list of strategic priorities for 2018.

If you require further information on anything covered in this briefing please contact David Smellie or your usual contact at the firm on 020 3375 7000.

This publication is a general summary. It should not replace legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

© Farrer & Co LLP, December 2017

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