Back in May, the Queen’s Speech confirmed that the Government is looking to alter the Charities Act 2011 in some very important ways.
This hasn’t come out of the blue, however, with various consultations having been run over the last several years by the Law Commission involving the Charity Commission, various Government departments and the charity sector itself.
Charities Bill 2021 – Key changes for charities
Whilst there is still some way to go before the exact nature and details of the changes are known, here are five areas that charities may wish to keep an eye on.
- More flexibility with ‘permanent endowment’
- New rules on failed charitable appeals including a proposal to allow donations below a certain level to be spent on similar charitable purposes.
- An easier way to amend governing documents or Royal Charters – although the Charity Commission or Privy Council’s approval will still be needed in certain cases.
- Simplified rules governing the advice required when disposing of land.
- The ability to pay trustees for goods provided to a charity in certain circumstances without needing Charity Commission permission
At the heart of these changes, and others, there appears to be a drive to make life simpler for trustees. It is hoped that this will allow them to focus on the important work of running their charity and in so doing maximise the benefits that the charity delivers.
Many charities and their trustees have faced additional pressure arising from the coronavirus pandemic and any changes which make life easier will be well received. How Parliament will ultimately give effect to the proposals is, however, yet to be seen.
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