The Charities Act 2011, a redrafted version of charity law that is easier to understand, will come into effect today.
The change means charities should from now on refer to the 2011 act rather than the 2006 act in written materials, including reports, accounts or statements.
However, the Charity Commission has confirmed that charities’ documents will still be valid if they mistakenly refer to the earlier legislation.
The new legislation, passed in December, will replace most of the contents of the 1992, 1996 and 2006 charities acts, and the 1958 Recreational Charities Act.
However, it does not include part 3 of the 2006 act, which would make the Charity Commission the lead regulator of public charitable collections.
This section, which says street and door-to-door fundraisers would be required to obtain public collection certificates from the commission, has never been activated and will be reconsidered as part of the review of the act that is being carried out by the Conservative peer Lord Hodgson.
The new legislation will not affect the legal basis of any of the Charity Commission’s guidance.