Update on the implementation of the UK Charities Act 2022: changes to ex gratia payments postponed

26 October 2022 | Applicable law: England and Wales

The Charity Commission has amended the timetable setting out the implementation of the Charities Act 2022, which received Royal Assent on 24 February 2022. 

Sections 15 and 16 of the Charities Act 2022, which set out a new test for trustees when considering making ex gratia payments, have been removed from the webpage setting out changes being introduced and instead are now stated to be “under further consideration prior to commencement”.

The changes to ex gratia payments under the Charities Act 2022 have been widely reported in the press as paving the way for museums and other similar charitable institutions to return cultural items and artefacts to their place of origin. Civil society minister Lord Kamall confirmed in a statement to the House of Lords that “the government are deferring the commencement of [sections 15 and 16] of the Act, which we initially expected to be part of the first tranche of commencements in the autumn, until we fully understand the implications for national museums and other charities”. Lord Kamall stated that the restitution of items from national museums on moral grounds was not considered by the House of Commons or the House of Lords when the Charities Bill was being debated.

A number of changes are still due to come into effect in autumn 2022, including powers to amend Royal Charters and changes to the approach of trustees providing goods or services to a charity, with further tranches of implementation scheduled for spring and autumn 2023.

This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.


Related experience

As a full-service law firm, we are able to provide advice and information about a wide range of other issues. Here are some related areas.

Join the club

We have lots more news and information that you'll find informative and useful. Let us know what you're interested in and we'll keep you up to date on the issues that matter to you.