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Latest on legislative changes and code of practice updates for charities

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By Emma Jane Dalley, Alistair Robertson and Anne Marie Gregory


Published 29 September 2022


As reported in our article published on 11 May 2022, the first tranche of provisions of the Charities Act 2022 are due to come into force in Autumn this year.\n 

There are other changes afoot. The Fundraising Regulator has announced that a full review of the Code of Fundraising Practice will commence this Autumn. In addition, the Social Housing Regulation Bill, which is currently going through Parliament, may bring further changes for social housing charities. 

Charities Act 2022

The Charity Commission has released guidance on those provisions of the Charities Act 2022 that are due to come into force this Autumn.

This includes:

  • a statutory power to pay trustees to provide a service to the charity (even where not specifically authorised in a governing instrument). This will extend the existing statutory power which relates only to the provision of goods;
  • a power to make moral or ‘ex gratia’ payments from charity funds. In brief, this will allow charities to make small ex-gratia payments without Charity Commission consent. The threshold will depend on the gross income of the charity in the last financial year;
  • greater freedom in the context of “failed” fundraising appeals.

In addition, changes will come into effect which will simplify the procedures for amendments to Royal Charters. 

There will be two further instalments in Spring 2023 and Autumn 2023. These include changes to how charities sell land, greater flexibility to make use of ‘permanent endowment’ and changes to how charities can amend their governing documents. We will keep you updated as the implementation plan progresses and when commencement dates have been decided by the Secretary of State. 

Fundraising Regulator - a review of the Code of Fundraising Practice

The Fundraising Regulator has published its first Strategic Plan since it became an established regulatory body in 2016, covering the period 2022-2027. The strategy sets out the regulatory objectives and priorities for the period and addresses the increasing popularity of new technologies, the growing use of data and the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

Most notably, this Autumn will see the beginning of a full review of the Code of Fundraising Practice. As it is the first significant overhaul since October 2019, in which time there have been great changes in the fundraising landscape, we expect there to be significant amendments made and we will keep you updated as that progresses. 

The Social Housing Regulation Bill

The Social Housing Regulation Bill is currently before Parliament. The Bill is intended to make reforms to the regulation of the sector in order to improve standards, tackle poor living conditions and enhance tenants’ rights. We will keep our charitable clients updated as the Bill progresses through Parliament on how it may impact on them.