Emil Ford Lawyers

Charity & Not-for-Profit Articles

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Disputes, Allegations and Investigations

Handling Disputes, Allegations and Investigations within Not-for-Profit Organisations

Read David Ford's paper of March 2015 called Handling Disputes, Allegations and Investigations within Not-for-Profit Organisations.  This paper is about what to do when things happen that you hope will never happen.

Many Not-for-Profits are ill-equipped and unprepared when disputes and allegations arise and when investigations have to be carried out. This paper will both equip and prepare the governors, leaders and managers of Not-for-Profits to deal with such matters.


 Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

ACNC transitional reporting arrangements

Transitional reporting provisions are being extended to allow the ACNC to accept certain reports lodged with other government agencies.

(From Not-for-Profit Law Notes March 2016)

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ACNC has been spared!

The Government’s plans to scuttle the ACNC are no more. The ACNC will now work towards enhancing compliance by charities, particularly in the areas of governance, accountability, transparency and fundraising. How does this affect you?

(From Not-for-Profit Law Notes March 2016)

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ACNC to revoke nearly 200 charities

On 14 October 2015 the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) issued a notice of intention to revoke almost 200 charities. The ACNC has unsuccessfully tried to contact these charities several times during its nearly 3 years of operation and is assuming that they are no longer operating.

(From Not-for-Profit Law Notes October 2015

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ACNC - A more secure future?

It no longer appears that the abolition of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) is imminent. 

Read more about the future of the ACNC in this article published in the February 2015 edition of Not-for-Profit Law Notes.

Federal Government continues to move towards winding up the ACNC

The future of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission appears to be in grave doubt. The ACNC has maintained its tenure as the main regulator of the not-for-profit sector since its implementation by the Labor Government in 2012. The abolishment of the ACNC was however one of the election promises made by the Coalition Government in 2013.  Read more about what this could mean for your Not-for-Profit organisation in the July 2014 edition of Not-for-Profit Law Notes.


Website blocking injunctions provide new remedies for rights holders

Copyright owners can now apply for an injunction requiring an Internet Service Provider to disable access to online locations outside of Australia where the primary purpose of that online location is to infringe copyright.  From Not-for-Profit Law Notes April 2016Learn more ...



Can a not-for-profit exclude people from its premises?

Mr G had been regularly attending a church in Queensland. Problems arose when he distributed pamphlets in pigeon holes at the church. These pamphlets made unfavourable comments about the religious views of the church and criticised the suitability of the pastor. This was not the first time that he had distributed similar material to church members and he was repeatedly asked to leave before the police were called.

(From Not-for-Profit Law Notes November/December 2014)  Read more ...


Can a religious organisation discriminate against people on the basis of their sexual orientation? 

A recent decision by the Victorian Court of Appeal has found that a Christian youth camping organisation, Christian Youth Camps Ltd ("CYC"), was guilty of sexual discrimination by refusing the booking of Cobaw Community Health Service Ltd ("Cobaw") in 2007.

(From Not-for Profit Law Notes May 2014)  Read more ...


UK discrimination laws affect adoption practices of religious organisations

A recent case in the United Kingdom considered the extent to which a religious organisation was affected by discrimination legislation.

(From Not-for-Profit Law Notes September 2013) Read more ...


Fair Work Act

Request to extend unpaid parental leave

Do you know what to do when an employee asks to extend their unpaid parental leave? Changes to the Fair Work Act have moved the goal posts.

(From Not-for-Profit Law Notes March 2016Read more ...


Work experience or wilful exploitation Read more ...


How does Crocmedia Impact Volunteers Read more ...

These two articles are important reading for those organisations using voluteer staff.

(From Not-for-Profit Law Notes April 2015) 


Changes to workplace arrangements

The recent passing of the Fair Work Amendment Act 2013 brings about significant changes requiring the attention of not-for-profit organisations, some of which have already taken effect.

(From Not-for-Profit Law Notes September 2013)  Read more ...



Employee or independent contractor? ...
Superannuation obligations

Many organisations engage the services of a worker under the auspices of a “contractor agreement” in the hope of reducing tax and other obligations. However, there is no “quick fix”.

(From Not-for-Profit Law Notes July 2015)  Read more ...

Not-for-Profit Structure:

Bullying, The Fair Work Act, and Constitutional Corporations

Not-For-Profits come in all shapes and sizes. With different laws affecting different types of Not-For-Profits, it is important that you know the structure of your charity and the laws that govern it. 

(From Not-for-Profit Law Notes March/April 2014)  Read more ...



Series of 6 articles covering the duties of Board Members of registered charities:

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Much is said about governance these days, particularly in relation to not-for-profit organisations.  Is it all just theory (hot air)?  We don't believe this. 

(From Not-for-Profit Law Notes February 2015 Read more ... 


New governance standards for charities

New governance standards are now in effect for charities that are registered with the ACNC. These governance standards will need to be met on an ongoing basis in order to maintain registration with the ACNC.

(From Not-for-Profit Law Notes September 2013Read more ...


Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Status

Are you sure your income is tax exempt?

The Australian Taxation Office has recently released TR 2015/1, which sets out the Commissioner of Taxation’s view on what particular special conditions not-for-profit entities must fulfil in order to be exempt from income tax. A copy of the Final Ruling can be found here.

(From Not-for-Profit Law Notes March 2015)  Read more ...


New DGR category for ethics classes in government schools

To be endorsed as a deductible gift recipient in Australia, an organisation or fund must fall into one of the categories prescribed by legislation. These categories include public hospitals, higher education institutions, school building funds and animal welfare charities. 

(From Not-for-Profit Law Notes September 2013)  Read more ...



New Privacy Laws could be on the way

Proposed amendments to the Privacy Act 1988 could mean the introduction of a mandatory reporting scheme for serious data breaches. This reporting scheme would apply to all entities bound by the Privacy Act: essentially, any organisation with an annual turnover over $3 million.

(From Not-for-Profit Law Notes February 2016Read more ...


Changes to the Privacy Act

On 12 March 2014, a series of amendments to the Privacy Act 1988 took effect.  Not-for-profit organisations should make sure they are aware of the amendments to the Privacy Act.

(From Not-for-Profit Law Notes September 2013)  Read more ...


Procedural Fairness 

All charity and not-for-profit organisations must observe the principles of procedural fairness when making a decision regarding an employee, especially if that decision has the potential to affect the rights, interests or legitimate expectations of an individual.

A recent Supreme Court case involving a greyhound trainer and former President of the United Queensland Greyhounds Association highlights some simple rules for charities and not-for-profit organisations regarding procedural fairness.

(From Not-for-Profit Law Notes April 2016Learn more ...


Limiting FBT Concessions on Salary
Sacrificed Entertainment Benefits

A consultation paper outlining the Federal Treasury's draft legislation proposing a cap on the "meal entertainment" benefits (including holidays, cruises, weddings, and meals and alcohol in restaurants) available for salary packaging to charity and not-for-profit sector workers has been made available for comments.  

(From Not-for-Profit Law Notes July 2015)  Read more ...


Trade Marks

Trade Mark Disputes - where legal advice saves money

Read about a case involving a trade mark dispute between two charities with similar names and logos. The outcome of the case provides important lessons for charities.

(From Not-for-Profit Law Notes February 2016Read more ...


Trade Mark Myths for Charities

Registering a trade mark is a powerful way of protecting an organisation’s name, regardless of whether it is a commercial entity, or a not-for-profit. In this article, we address three of the most common trade mark myths for charities.

(From Not-for-Profit Law Notes November 2015Read more ... 


Charitable Legacies vs Family Provision

This article looks at two cases involving charitable legacies and Family Provision Act claims, one from the UK and one in Australia.

(From Not-for-Profit Law Notes September 2015)

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