Implementation of the new Charities Act

October 28, 2022

After receiving Royal Assent in February this year, the Charities Act 2022 required secondary legislation to come into force. The first piece of secondary legislation, the ‘phase 1 commencement regulations’, have now been made and will bring various provisions into force on 31 October 2022. The commencement regulations are available to view online here.

Of relevance to our members is that the sections containing the new Cy-Pres regime will be in effect from 31st October. The sections relating to charity land are now expected to come into force in Spring 2023.

You can view the implementation plan to indicate which provisions have been commenced and when the next set of provisions are likely to commence.

Alongside these regulations, the Charity Commission for England and Wales has updated and created new guidance so that charities and practitioners are aware of the changes and their practical implications. The guidance will be accessible from the Charity Commission’s Charities Act 2022 information page from 31 October.

As many of you will know, the new Ex-Gratia regime has been put on hold pending a review as to whether they could be used for the repatriation of museum objects. We have spoken to contacts in the museum sector who have told us that this is a real possibility that they have been looking at. You can read more about this here.

We have been in touch with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Charity Commission to try and get a sense of how long the review might take, and therefore when the ex-gratia payment provisions are likely to be introduced.

Their intention is to conduct the review quickly, and they are very hopeful that the new provisions will be brought into effect next year, possibly as early as the spring phase of the implementation plan. We have written to the Minister of State responsible for implementation of the Act to ask him to make it a priority.

We have been told that for the time being the Charity Commission expect charities to follow the existing regulations, and continue to apply to them for permission to make ex-gratia payments.

As always, we will keep our members fully up-to-date with any further news regarding the regulations.

By Institute of Legacy Management

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