Board members and councillors will be aware of the legal duties and responsibilities placed on them through virtue of the control and oversight of an organisation’s operations. The recent judgment issued in relation to the collapse of Kids Company in 2015 offers some useful reminders for any board members, directors and councillors of organisations (including charitable housing providers). Read our full article here.

Reminder – some of the flexibilities offered by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (CIGA) will soon be coming to an end (31 March 2021 for virtual meetings). Read our previous articles Written resolutions and electronic circulation and signing and Governance in social housing: a flexible future? which discuss CIGA and the flexibilities offered in further detail, as well as whether you need to consider longer-term changes to your governance arrangements in order to continue to take advantage of the flexibilities.

The following is a list of links to some useful recent updates on our website:

Understanding business interruption claims

The pandemic and lockdown measures have hit hundreds of thousands of UK businesses and caused massive economic damage. If your organisation has a business which has been affected during the pandemic it may be able to claim for the resulting business interruption on its insurance policy. Read more here.

Final call to implement the Senior Managers and Certification Regime

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) solo-regulated firms (which includes certain housing associations) only have until the end of March to finalise their preparations for the last stages of the implementation of the Certification Regime and Conduct Rules (SMCR) under the FCA’s Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR).

The original deadline of 9 December 2020 was pushed back by the FCA to accommodate those firms impacted by coronavirus pandemic. Firms now have until 31 March 2021 to ensure that:

  • Certified staff have been assessed as fit and proper and certificates issued;
  • Training has been provided to all staff (who are not senior managers, certified staff or board directors) on the Conduct Rules;
  • Conduct Rules are applied to all relevant staff; and
  • Information about Directory Persons has been submitted for the Financial Services Register.

Firms will need to design policies and procedures for the business to follow to ensure their compliance with the new rules - for example, how certificates will be issued to staff, how fitness and propriety will be assessed and conduct rule breaches determined and, where appropriate, reported to the FCA.

Training will also need to be rolled out for all staff on their obligations under SMCR including how the conduct rules apply to their roles.

Finally, HR and compliance teams will need to update employment contracts and policies including compliance, recruitment, disciplinary, reference and appraisal policies to meet SMCR requirements.