Employee Trust Fund
By a Deed of Variation completed in 1980 the scope and purpose of the charity was established as being for the relief of poverty and financial hardship for deserving beneficiaries of the charity. The class of beneficiaries was employees and their dependants, with employee including any current or former employee of the company.
G4S was formed in 2004 after a merger with the Danish Company Falck and the trustees made an application to the charity commission to clarify the definition of the beneficiaries following the merger. The Charity Commission confirmed in 2006 that the definition of employee means any officer and employee and former officer and employee for the time being and from time to time of G4S Ltd and any subsidiary company thereof.
In practice, most employees will never face circumstances where an application to the charity is required but it is a very useful support for employees and their dependants who face poverty or hardship. In recent years, the charity has among other things helped support employees impacted by catastrophic events around the world such as the war in Ukraine, Coronavirus, the Beirut explosion or flooding in Thailand.
From year to year, the number of donations agreed by the trustees varies depending on circumstances but the trustees will on average spend a little more than the annual income of the charity. As well as supporting employees, the trustees aim to grow the trust funds so that the charity will last over the long term.
Allied Universal Takeover of G4S
On 6 April 2021, G4S was acquired by Allied Universal and G4S, which was then a public company, was delisted. Under the current definition of employees, the employees originally employed by Allied Universal are not included within the definition of beneficiaries because Allied Universal is not a subsidiary company of G4S.
The trustees, who are currently, Sok Wah Lee, Catherine Hooper and Mercer & Hole Trustees Limited would now like to make an application to the charity commission to include all employees and their dependants as part of the class of beneficiaries. The trustees believe that this is the fairest and most practical approach and is in the spirit of the original donation by the company when the charity was established. The trust is long established and the current circumstances of the takeover by another company would not have been envisaged when the charitable trust was originally created. The trustees will continue to exercise discretion in only considering applications where there are circumstances of poverty or financial hardship.
Before making a formal application to the charity commission the trustees are under a duty to publicise their intentions, consult stakeholders and provide an opportunity for any objections to be raised.
The trustees are publicising the proposals on the firm’s intranet and also engaging in wider consultation with Union representatives.