Charities Act 2011 receives royal assent

New legislation to make charity law simpler will come into force in March

Charities Act 2006 to be reviewed
Charities Act 2006 to be reviewed

A new Charities Act that consolidates existing charity law has received royal assent.

The act, passed on Wednesday, will come into force in March 2012 and is intended to make charity law simpler and more accessible.

The Charities Act 2011 combines the Recreational Charities Act 1958, the Charities Act 1993 and many of the provisions of the Charities Act 2006.

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 commission has said it would not be able to take on the new duties without being provided with more resources.

The regulator said in a statement that the new act did not affect the legal basis of any of its guidance, but that it would amend its guidance to refer to the new act.

When the consolidated act was introduced earlier this year, the Office for Civil Society said it was unjust for legislation to be so complex that it was inaccessible to those it affected.

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