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Policy Bulletin February 2018

New rules for trustees and senior managers

The remaining provisions of the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 will come into force on 1 August 2018.

These provisions come with two major changes for charities:

  • From 1 August 2018, the list of circumstances in which someone is automatically disqualified from charity trusteeship will be expanded to include unspent convictions for bribery, terrorism and money laundering and certain other circumstances such as being on the sex offenders register. The list currently includes bankruptcy and unspent convictions for dishonesty and deception.
  • From 1 August 2018, anyone automatically disqualified from trusteeship will also be automatically disqualified from being a senior manager in a charity.

Individuals who are not currently disqualified, but will be after 1 August, can apply for a waiver in advance of the rule change as of 1 February.

For a more detailed explanation about the new rules, see new guidance published by the Charity Commission here.

Charitable companies may now convert to charitable incorporated organisations

Charitable companies will now be able to become CIOs.  CIOs receive the protections of incorporated status given to charitable companies but are only required to register and file with the Charity Commission and not Companies House.

If a charity changes its legal status to become a CIO, it will retain its legal personality. This means it keeps its registered charity number, and its legal relationships will likely be unaffected. Its registration with Companies House is cancelled and it will no longer be governed by company law.

You can find more information on the change through the Charity Commission’s website.

No New Legal Status for full time volunteers

The review on full–time social action has concluded that a legal definition for full–time volunteering is not needed at this time. The review, led by Crisis chair Steve Holliday, published a report in early February which suggested that the evidence–base was not strong enough to require the legislative change. The report concluded that the current situation was “not ideal”, but that more evidence was needed before larger changes could be made.

You can read the report here.