The Draft Charities Bill has been published – what does it mean for you?

Following the release of the long awaited 'Government Response to the Law Commission Report on Technical Issues in Charity law' on 22 March and the announcement of the Charities Bill in the Queen's Speech on 11 May, the Draft Charities Bill has now been published.

The Bill includes changes to a number of aspects of charity law including:

  • Financial thresholds, changing purposes and governing documents;
  • ex-gracia payments, cy-pres; and
  • changes to disposal of land (s.117-121 Charites Act 2011) as well as to permanent endowment.

The foreword to the Report focussed on the contribution to the civic society during the Covid-19 pandemic and states an aim to further facilitate its work:

“There is huge power in civil society and … it should be the government’s job to unlock it – not try to replace it, or end up stymying it”  Oliver Dowden CBE Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport”

The Bill is predicted to move "quite quickly" through Parliament.

The changes will be examined by Foot Anstey's Charities Team at the Institute of Legacy Management Webinars on 17 and 24 June 2021 when the team will be joined by James Stebbings of Macmillian Cancer Support and Einar Roberts of Cluttons. To register click here.

The draft Bill can be accessed here.

The Government response to the Law Commission Report on Technical Issues in Charity Law which proceeded the Draft and provides a useful summary and explanatory of thinking behind the proposed changes is here.