August 2020 Tweet ButtonFacebook Share Button  

In this update
* Your workplace and COVID-19 (employees and volunteers)
* Upcoming webinars and our new training module
* Our new and updated resources
* Deductible gift recipient status for community sheds
* Fundraising reform in Western Australia and Victoria
* Greenpeace is registered as a charity in New Zealand
Your workplace and COVID-19

Australia – categories of people at increased risk of a serious COVID-19 infection
Due to changed Federal Government advice regarding workers considered to be at increased risk of a serious COVID-19 infection, we have updated our fact sheet on managing the return of volunteers to the workplace.

Victoria – requirement to notify WorkSafe Victoria of an employee’s COVID-19 diagnosis
Victorian organisations are required to notify WorkSafe immediately if an employee has a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. See our note on this for more information.

Victoria –  how do the new COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria affect you?
Our friends at Volunteering Victoria have created a useful guide on the current stage 3 and 4 restrictions and what it means for organisations and volunteers in regional and metropolitan Victoria.

Victoria – new advice on the use of personal protective equipment in community services
In addition to the existing requirement that all staff in community services wear surgical masks, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services now requires staff to wear eye protection when they are working directly with clients. In addition, a P2/N95 mask is required when providing care in an uncontrolled environment where there are high numbers of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases. For more information, see the DHHS website.  

Upcoming webinars – join live or watch on-demand Webinar: Covid-19 Key legal issues for organisations with volunteers

Planning a Merger – key legal issues for not-for-profits
In the current COVID climate, we’re hearing from more and more organisations considering merging or amalgamating. Merging with another group can help secure government funding, increase efficiency, expand the breadth and reach of services, and ensure sustainability. 

Before heading down this road, your organisation should understand what’s involved – including the benefits and costs, the due diligence required and other legal issues that might come up along the way.
Register here

Mastering Meetings for not-for-profits
Are you responsible for planning, running or taking part in committee meetings, board meetings or Annual General Meetings? The COVID-19 situation means you may need to run your AGM online or adhere to social distancing restrictions.

Join this interactive and practical webinar and we’ll walk you through the why, what, when and how of meetings and spell out your not-for-profit organisation’s various legal obligations along the way.  
Register here

DGR Status – the legal basics for not-for-profits
Deductible gift recipient (DGR) status is highly sought after, as it can help not-for-profits access more donations and grants. Many organisations grapple with DGR status, including understanding the benefits, which groups are eligible, how to apply and what the planned DGR reforms will mean for them.

Laws in this area are complex and navigating the rules for obtaining and keeping DGR status can be tricky. We’re here to help!
Register here

Free webinar – drafting a great volunteer agreement
Having a well thought out and drafted volunteer agreement is the best way to be clear about the relationship between your organisation and the volunteer. It also helps to manage certain legal risks that could come up in your volunteer program.

In celebration of National Volunteer Week, we delivered a special free 30 minute webinar exploring the ins and outs of this important document and you can access the recording on our website. 
Watch online

Volunteer safety, risk and insurance – we have a new training module!


How do we protect and retain our volunteers in the current COVID climate? Will we be discriminating against at-risk volunteers by asking them to stop volunteering? What if a volunteer gets sick – does our insurance cover this?  

These are the kinds of questions we’re hearing from volunteer-involving organisations at the moment. In response, we’ve developed a specific training session to address these issues. Our new Volunteer Safety, Risk & Insurance module is a practical training session that covers:

* all the legal basics around your safety obligations
* the duty of care you owe to your volunteers and legal responsibility for their actions
* how to manage risk, and
* important things to note about insurance

We’ll also delve into COVID specific issues to help you ensure your COVID-safe plan protects both your volunteers and your organisation.

All our training is currently being delivered online to groups right across Australia. You can find out more about this session and other training topics on our website or contact our training team at  

Our new and updated free resources
Updated fact sheet on managing the return of volunteers to the workplace

Updated factsheets on Changes to an organisation’s constitution or rules (ACT, VIC, TAS, NT,QLD, SA)  

New fact sheet on IT Agreements (Cth)    
Other news in our sector

Deductible gift recipient status for community sheds

A new deductible gift recipient (DGR) category for community sheds (this includes mens’ sheds) is ready to go but is not yet in force (it’s pending with the introduction of the Treasury Laws Amendment (2020 Measures No. 2) Bill 2020 to parliament on 13 May 2020). We will let you know when this happens  – it needs the Federal Parliament to pass the law and received Royal Assent. You can follow us on Twitter @nfp_law

To find out more about DGR status and this new category, read our DGR resources and see the ATO website. You can also register for our webinar on DGR status.

Welcome fundraising reform in Western Australia and Victoria

Western Australia has addressed onerous charity compliance requirements in changes to its Charitable Collections Act 1946 (WA). We’ve summarised these changes, which are effective from the 2020 financial year, on our website.

The Victorian Parliament’s amendments to the Fundraising Act 1998 (Vic) affect four separate stages of the fundraising cycle – registering as a fundraiser, conducting fundraising appeals, annual reporting and using commercial fundraisers. We have summarised these changes, which will be effective by 31 August 2020, in a news item on our website.

Overall, we see these as steps in the right direction – they help to ensure the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) becomes the single place for reporting and registration. But we are still well short of a nationally consistent and modern fundraising regime and we will keep up our advocacy for this! 

Join our campaign to #fixfundraising  

Greenpeace New Zealand is finally registered as a charity

In a judgement on 10 August 2020, the New Zealand High Court has allowed Greenpeace to register as a charity after a twelve-year battle for registration. In support of this decision, Justice Jill Mallon said Greenpeace’s main activity is advocacy for the protection of the environment, which has a charitable public benefit. Look out for a case note from QUT Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies.

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