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Brexit advice for charities and voluntary sector

Advice for charities and voluntary sector

Voluntary organisations must remain financially robust in order to cope with increased needs and economic uncertainty that may result from the end of the Brexit transition period and future outbreaks of COVID-19.

Some key steps that charities and voluntary organisations should take are:

  • Identify the costs associated with rising prices and supply chain disruption on your operations.
  • Ensure you have sufficient funding to cover the identified costs.
  • Update your contracts and review your workforce
  • Consider whether disruption to supply chains might affect your access to goods such as food or medicines – particularly relevant for organisations working in health and social care.


If you currently employ an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, they must apply before 30 June 2021 for the EU Settlement Scheme in order to continue living and working in the UK. You can use this employer toolkit to support your workforce. You can also signpost them to Citizens Advice Merton and Lambeth (CAML).

If you are planning to hire people from outside the UK in the future, regardless if they are EU or non-EU citizens, you need to apply to be a licensed sponsor according to the new points-based immigration system.


Some organisations may be unaware that they receive personal data from the EU. Personal data flows take many forms, including any outsourced HR or back office functions, and partners' or suppliers' names and addresses.

The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement includes a bridging mechanism for the continued free flow of personal data for six months while the EU grants adequacy decisions to the UK. In the meantime, it is advisable to put in place alternative transfer mechanisms, such as Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs).

Consult the ICO guidance and government guidance to review your contracts to ensure your organisation can continue receiving personal data from the EU/EEA now that the Brexit transition period has ended.

Movement of goods

As businesses try to adjust to the new post-Brexit rules, with goods undergoing border checks, disruptions to supply chains and higher prices are arising. This might affect your access to goods such as food or medicines.

Review your supply chains and ensure that your suppliers have complied with the new requirements to continue trading with the EU. You can also consider alternatives to your current supplies in case of border delays or higher costs.

You should identify costs for short-term continuity in your operations and how they would be funded. If you think you may face financial difficulties, please check out local funding on our funding page and the Merton Connected website.

EU funding

Although the UK has left the EU, you'll continue to get any EU funding you've already been awarded. This includes funding you were due to get after 31 December 2020.

As the UK continues to participate in some EU programmes, you may still be able to apply to EU funding under the current and next spending framework from 2021 to 2027. See Getting EU Funding (GOV.UK website).


DCMS has produced guidance for civil society to help you get ready. For more guidance tailored to your organisation, use the Brexit checker.