A summary of notable updates from the Charity Commission.
The guidance issued by the Charity Commission for Charitable organisations and CIOs has been updated and trustees and those working with or for charities should consider the changes.
Notable updates include:
Charitable companies and Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) can continue to hold AGMs and other members’ meetings online – this has been made possible by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 and applies until 30 March 2021. Note that:
- they may be held by phone / video or other electronic means, even if the governing document requires them to be held physically face-to-face
- members still have the right to vote, but the charity can require this to be done electronically, or by other means (such as by post)
- members will not have the right to attend a meeting in person or participate in meetings other than to vote
If you rely on these provisions, you must ensure that this decision is recorded in the minutes and that all other meeting requirements are met. You should ensure that you have a robust system to ensure only those eligible to vote can do so and that you record who has voted and the percentages of votes cast.
Wrongful trading provisions, allowing company directors and trustees of CIOs to continue operating a charity through the emergency without the threat of personal liability:
- these provisions which applied between 1 March and 30 September 2020 have been reinstated, so that it won’t be possible to bring wrongful trading claims in relation to losses caused by trading between 26 November 2020 and 30 April 2021.
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