OSCR guidance could cost care charities thousands

A legal loophole between the Scottish charity regulator and the Care Commission could cost Scottish care charities thousands of pounds, charity service provider Jordans has warned.

Under Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator guidance, charities in Scotland have been encouraged to register as charitable companies rather than charities, thus protecting their trustees by limiting their personal liability.

But doing this requires care charities to cancel their registrations with the Care Commission and re-register each of their care homes individually to comply with that regulator’s demands. In the case of Respite Fife, a small Kirkcaldy-based charity that provides care to adults with learning difficulties, this would have cost £7,000.

“The present situation is a real deterrent to trustees considering the conversion of a charity to the legal form of a charitable company,” said Cecile Gillard, head of the charities and voluntary department at Jordans.

Gillard managed to negotiate a discretionary reduction for Respite Fife on the grounds that the costs were unreasonable and disproportionate. But she called for the Scottish Executive to resolve the matter urgently and allow care charities to choose the legal form best suited to their needs without undue restrictions.

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