Who can run a charity? Changes to automatic disqualification coming soon
From 1 August 2018, changes to the automatic disqualification rules mean that there will be more restrictions on who can run a charity. Charities will need to update their charity governance policies and processes to comply with this.
The current rules only apply to trustees, protecting charities from being run by bankrupt individuals or those who have specific unspent convictions relating to dishonesty or deception. Under the new rules, disqualified people will also be prevented from acting in some senior management positions, such as Chief Executive (or equivalent) and Chief Finance Officer (or equivalent). There will also be additional reasons that disqualify someone from acting including being on the sex offenders register and unspent convictions for terrorism or money laundering.
Individuals who will be disqualified when the new rules change on 1 August 2018 can apply for a waiver of their disqualification. They will need to use the application form that will be on the Charity Commission website from 1 February 2018. The right to apply for a waiver recognises that there will be limited circumstances when applying a waiver will be in the best interests of the charity in that it will allow them to retain or recruit a well-qualified person who may otherwise be unavailable to them.
Charities will need to update their recruitment checks to avoid appointing disqualified individuals as trustees or into senior manager positions. In addition charities will also need to check that their systems will identify those currently in post who are disqualified.
The guidance explaining the new automatic disqualification rules and the waiver form is available on the Charity Commission website.
For advice on charity governance contact Elizabeth Irvine