Coronavirus guidance published for charities

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has published guidance on coronavirus for charities.

As of 4 March the global death toll for coronavirus sits at 3,190, while more than 93,000 have been infected. There are currently 85 recorded cases in the UK.

In response to the outbreak, the NCVO has issued guidance for charities, explaining how they can protect staff, volunteers and visitors and spot the signs sooner rather than later.

The guidance advises charities to provide a number of hand-washing facilities, to introduce proper cleaning regimes and to review travel arrangements.

Leaders have been encouraged should support staff working from home, particularly if impacted by school closures. They should also take into consideration the infrastructure, equipment and processes required to allow staff to work remotely, the NCVO said.

The guidance further urges charities to keep up-to-date on travel advice through the Foreign Office, to assess whether travel is fully necessary and to ensure all emergency contacts are up-to-date.

NCVO has also provided details around whether employees should take sick leave and whether charities running events should cancel any planned within the next few weeks.

But the umbrella body suggests that for now – whilst people are being advised to continue to go to work, school and other places as usual – charities should just keep event plans ‘under review’.

Financial implications

The guidance has encouraged charities to consider the financial impacts of the virus’s spread continuing and said income ‘may fall’ if there is serious disruption.

NCVO added that charities may want to ‘budget for increased contingency costs’ over the next financial year as some may face increased need for support from those who rely on the organisation.

Charities should also think about how their organisation would run if a significant proportion of staff or volunteers were unavailable, the NCVO said.

You can read the full guidance here.

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