June 6, 2016

Regulator offers advice following the release of the Charities Act timetable

The information was made available after the Cabinet Office published a timetable for when the various different sections of the new Charities Act are set to take effect.

Generally speaking, the new measures will come into force at three separate junctures: July 2016, October 2016 and April 2017.

The Charity Commission said that the laws would usher in a number of significant changes, following arguments that the watchdog lacked sufficient powers in a number of key areas.

However, the regulator has attempted to play down concerns about the extra burden on charities, arguing that many of the provisions will only apply to a relatively small number of organisations and re-emphasising that the rules will be introduced in stages.

One of the most contentious aspects of the new Act relates to the Commission having the power to administer official warnings. The watchdog last month launched a three-month consultation, asking for views on how this system should work in practice.

As of next April, there will also be changes to the factors that automatically prevent someone from being a charity trustee. These will be expanded to include unspent convictions for terrorism or money laundering and convictions for certain sexual offences.

A Charity Commission spokesman said: “The overall timetable that has been published will help us at the Charity Commission plan and prepare to use the new powers we have been given.

“It will also give charities and trustees the opportunity to plan for any changes that they need to make as a result of some of the new provisions.”

Royds has a wealth of experience advising charity clients on the laws and regulations affecting the sector. For further advice on these matters contact Tony Millson or Deanna Hurst.

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