Concerned about new charity staff disqualification rules? Help is at hand!

March 8, 2018 at 10:15

This is a guest blog from Christopher Stacey, co-director of Unlock, an independent charity which provides a voice and support for people with convictions who are facing stigma and obstacles because of their criminal record, often long after they have served their sentence.

From 1st August 2018, changes to the ‘automatic disqualification’ rules mean that there will be restrictions on who can run a charity, particularly affecting trustees and certain senior managers, such as CEOs and Chief Finance Officers. Organisations need to act now in advance of the rules coming into force.

That’s why Clinks, the membership organisations for charities working in criminal justice, and and Unlock are running a series of half day workshops in Manchester, London, Birmingham and Plymouth to provide those working in the voluntary sector with the information needed to prepare for these changes.

It’s vital that charities across the wider sector get to grips with these changes. It’s important that neither individuals nor charities think that these changes mean people with criminal records can’t be involved in charities – they can and they should. In practice, people that will be disqualified from August can apply for a waiver which, if granted, will mean they can continue in their role. But understanding of the current rules is limited, so it won’t be surprising if these changes are met with confusion and uncertainty by the sector. Charities will need to update their recruitment processes and governing document to reflect the changes to the rules and ensuring that they understand how they, and the people they support can continue to benefit from a diverse board with a range of experience.

You need to act now

Our guide to the new rules, Leading Charities with Conviction, and the workshops we are holding based on this guidance will help boards of trustees, senior staff and HR managers understand what they need to do to prepare for these changes.

We believe the changes to the rules are unnecessary and ineffective but we know they will have significant consequences for the sector and for people currently involved in it. Read our guidance and attend one of our workshops to make sure your organisation is prepared.

For details of Clinks’ and Unlock’s workshops click here