Changes To Automatic Disqualification For Trustees

Author:Ms Alison Paines and Chris Priestley
Profession:Withers LLP

The Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 enacted provisions which expand automatic disqualification for trustees to a wider category of offences, and extends their application to 'senior managers', but which were not brought into force in 2017.

The Charity Commission has now announced that these new automatic disqualification and disqualification of senior management rules will come into force on 1 August 2018 and has published guidance on how “charities”:“ and” individuals”: should prepare.

The current rules automatically disqualify trustees for reasons that are 'mainly bankruptcy related, and also include unspent convictions for crimes involving dishonesty or deception'. From 1 August 2018 these rules will also apply to 'senior managers' in charities.

The updated rules will also expand the reasons for disqualification to include where trustees or senior managers have previously been removed as an officer, agent or employee (only for trustees under the old rules) by the Charity Commission or High Court due to misconduct or mismanagement;

are subject to notification requirements under sexual offences legislation, commonly referred to as being on the sex offenders register; have been found to be in contempt of court for making, or causing to be made, a false statement (to which limited exceptions will apply) or guilty by the High Court of disobeying a Commission order;

are a designated person under particular anti-terrorist legislation; or

have unspent convictions for committing, attempting, aiding or abetting:

(i) particular terrorism related offences;

(ii) particular money laundering offences;

(iii) particular bribery offences;

(iv) particular offences under the Charities Act for disobeying a Charity Commission order or direction; or

(v) offences for misconduct in public office, perjury, and perverting the course of justice.

The updated rules apply in respect of both charity trustees and senior managers, identified by function as a Chief Executive (or equivalent) or Chief Finance Officer (or equivalent) within the charity. There can be several senior managers in a charity, or none (where, for example, only the trustees carry out these roles). These 'restricted positions' which invite the automatic disqualification rules are...

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