Charity law reform – England and Wales
In our last edition we reported on the reforms set out in the Charities Act 2022 that were due to take effect in the Spring. At the time there was a delay in introducing the changes and we were unable to confirm the date that they took effect from, but we can now confirm that it was 14 June 2023. CCEW has now ensured that its guidance material has been updated for these legislative changes, which covered the following areas:
- Selling, leasing or otherwise disposing of land
- Using permanent endowment
- Charity names
It is anticipated that the following principal changes will come into effect for charities located in England and Wales before the end of 2023:
- Charity constitutions
Reforms are being introduced to harmonise the rules on making changes to a charity’s governing documents, which currently differ depending on whether a charity is unincorporated, a CIO or a limited company.
- Charity Trustees
CCEW will have new powers to order a charity to pay charity trustees for work they have performed if it would be unfair for them not to be paid, avoiding the current need for a charity to go to Court to authorise these payments or benefits. CCEW will also be able to ratify the appointment of a charity trustee where it is unclear whether they were properly appointed in the first place.
- Charity mergers
Reforms will be implemented that address some technical issues that can arise when dealing with legacies to a charity that has merged with another institution where details of the merger have been entered in the CCEW’s Register of Mergers. This will only then leave the reform of ex gratia payments that was included in the 2022 Act which remain under consideration with no date yet announced of when they are expected to come into effect.