NCVO and Charity Commission to draw up guidelines on executive pay

The proposal by Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the NCVO, follows media criticism of senior pay in the big aid charities

Sir Stuart Etherington
Sir Stuart Etherington

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations and the Charity Commission have agreed to draw up joint guidelines to help charity trustees to decide on pay levels for senior staff.

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the NCVO, proposed in a letter to Sam Younger, chief executive of the commission, that the two bodies "jointly develop guidelines regarding the process by which charities establish pay and remuneration for senior executives".

He said the NCVO would "identify a small group of charity chairs from a range of charities" that would work with commission nominees to draw up the guidance. The group will include Martyn Lewis, chair of the NCVO, and is expected to finalise its guidance in the spring

Etherington’s proposal follows articles last week in the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, which were critical of the salaries of chief executives from the Disasters Emergency Committee group of charities.

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said it welcomed the initiative and "would be happy to be involved in a process that supports trustees to fulfil their duties when making decisions".

Etherington said: "The public are right to ask that their donations are spent effectively and efficiently. Setting senior staff salaries is a complex task for trustees, who have to balance many factors to determine the right pay level in their organisation.

"I believe definitive guidance would be a useful resource for trustees and would help give the public confidence that salaries have been properly considered. I’m pleased the commission are responding positively to our proposal to work together on this."

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