July 25, 2016

Rules for charity governance must take account of larger organisations

Sir Stuart Etherington, the boss of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said last week that many of the rules being applied to charities had been designed with the requirements of small organisations in mind.

These were simply not practical when it came to larger organisations with incomes in excess of £100million, he argued.

“Does one size fit all? I don’t think so,” Sir Stuart told an audience in London.

“It cannot be the case that one model of governance fits all. In fact it may not be the case that the notion of charity, meaning all of this stuff, is any longer relevant.”

Indeed he has concerns that trying to apply certain rules – such as the automatic disqualification of people with certain criminal convictions – across the board could culminate in some form of legal challenge.

“If you’ve been in prison, that’s your lot: you can never be a trustee. I think we have to challenge that. We have to challenge it morally but also be prepared to respond legally.

“Increasingly, if you get regulators that are intervening in this way, the recourse is legal.”

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.

Share on: