Today Civil Society has published a piece on the extensions to rules disqualifying trustees and senior managers as a result of criminal convictions.
A Charity Commission spokesperson is quoted in the article, stating that:
“these changes will have significant impact on some individuals and we have always been clear that charities and affected individuals must have enough time to prepare for these changes properly. In order to do so fully, we are working with the Office for Civil Society to set a commencement date later in 2017.
“We consider that this should not before September and are hopeful that this will be agreed. We continue to work with a number of umbrella bodies and rehabilitation charities as we further develop these plans to ensure that charities, trustees and senior staff members have all the relevant information and enough time to take the appropriate steps.”
The original plan of government was to introduce these changes in April 2017.
We are pleased that the government and Charity Commission have listened to the concerns that we’ve raised by delaying implementation. We continue to have principled objections to a number of aspects of the new legislation, in particular the extension of the framework to senior managers and the inclusion of certain spent convictions and people on the sex offenders register. These changes are unnecessary and will be an ineffective way of protecting charities.
A delay to implementation will enable the government to carry out the proper impact assessment of these proposed changes that it has committed to do, so that this can be considered as part of the implementation process. It will also give the commission the time it needs to produce clear guidance on the new framework and establish a sensible waiver process. The retrospective impact of these changes means that the commission needs time to support both charities and individuals affected and ensure that individuals are able to obtain waivers ahead of these changes coming into force.
We understand that the commission remain committed to raising awareness and publishing guidance at least 6 months in advance of any changes coming into force. We’ll be keeping our policy section updated as this progresses.