One of the frustrating things we have all learned about this year is the difference between what is the law and what is government guidance.

It has been legal to travel to an amber country, so long as you self isolate afterwards, but the government’s guidance has been that people should not travel to amber list countries. The same issue arose during the second lockdown where people were allowed to exercise, but the guidance was that you should only exercise close to home.

This matters because the gap between what the law allows and what guidance suggests can be important, even outside health matters. Charities are most familiar with this in the range of publications from the Charity Commission which are the Commission’s guidance as to how it understands the law, but not the same as the law itself.

A case in point might be the legal underpinning of responsible investing. It would be a bold charity that decided that its purpose was best served by ignoring the Commission’s guidance and following the law (as they saw it), but sometimes they might feel it necessary, be it in social investing or in operating activities.

The recently departed Health Secretary, Matt Hancock resigned saying “I want to reiterate my apology for breaking the guidance…” when in fact he broke the law. If the person writing the law doesn’t know the difference, what hope is there for everyone else?

If you want help with your charity and the guidance around finance and investments, get in touch with us and we can offer you some low cost, independent help to guide you in the right direction.

James and Guy

Yoke and Company is the trading name of Yoke Financial Consultants Limited, incorporated in England and Wales (No 10787996) and registered at 6 Normanhurst Road, London, SW2 3TA. Yoke Financial Consultants Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Register reference number 826126)
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