Scottish regulator to pay board members

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator is to start paying its board members in a bid to ensure they come from a wide cross-section of society.

The decision to pay board members £200 a day plus reasonable travel expenses was taken by ministers as the OSCR looks to recruit an extra two commissioners. The regulator is concerned that potential recruits might be discriminated against financially.

“We recognise and respect that some in the sector feel very strongly about the issue of payment of OSCR board members,” the regulator said in a statement. “However, OSCR is not a charity and we believe that lack of remuneration potentially discriminates against those with portfolio careers and who cannot afford loss of income, or whose employers are unable to provide paid time off for OSCR duties.”

The regulator added that it was the norm for members of non-ministerial departments to be remunerated in Scotland. Two of the current six board members who work for charities have decided to donate their remuneration to their employers.

The OSCR is similar to the model used by the Charity Commission, in which board members are paid £350 a day plus travel expenses for similar reasons.

“We felt that it was the best way to ensure the quality and expertise of people in the sector,” a commission spokeswoman told Third Sector. “Board members also used to be civil servants, so it would not have been right to change the conditions of the positions.”

The Scottish regulator is currently advertising for the two vacancies on its board and hopes to have made the appointments by April.

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