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Changes to Charity Trustee Automatic Disqualification Rules

1st August 2018

Changes to Charity Trustee Automatic Disqualification Rules

Key changes to the rules which automatically disqualify people from being trustees or acting in senior management positions within charities came into effect today.

The rules which determine those who are automatically barred from being trustees, chief executives or finance directors were broadened under the Charities Act 2016. The new rules extend the circumstances in which individuals can now be disqualified include those with convictions for  sex offences, offences under the counter-terrorism, money laundering or bribery legislation, aswell as offences of misconduct and anyone who aids of abets those offences.  Disqualification can be for a period of up to 15 years, unless an individual is granted a waiver by the Charity Commission.

Partner and Head of Higgs' Charity and Not for Profit team Kirsty McEwen comments: “These significant changes highlight the importance of charities reviewing their recruitment processes for trustees and for those in a senior management role.  Charities need to be wise to the changes and ensure that their declaration and undertaking forms are updated for use on the appointment of new trustees and that existing trustees complete new versions of the forms on a regular basis.

“Ultimately a charity trustee or senior manager who is immediately or subsequently becomes disqualified following this rule change must formally resign unless a waiver can be obtained from the Charity Commission. Where an employment relationship is involved, specialist legal advice should be sought.”

The Charity Commission have published a table setting out the current disqualification rules and those that came into force after 1 August 2018. You can access the table by clicking here.

If you would like any assistance with recruitment of trustees; the updating or drafting of declarations and undertakings; obtaining a waiver from the Charity Commission; or if you have any other queries regarding automatic disqualification, please contact Kirsty McEwen .

*Senior management positions includes the role Chief Executive (or an equivalent role) and Chief Finance Officers/Directors (or equivalent). It is the function of the role and not the title that is important here, so trustees should consider this carefully.

 

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