The Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 (“the 2016 Act”) received Royal Assent on 16 March 2016. The Act changes the Charities Act 1992 and the Charities Act 2011 in the following areas:

  • Fundraising: by imposing more controls and safeguards around fundraising;
  • Social investment: by introducing a new statutory power to make social investments;
  • Disqualification of charity trustees; and
  • Charity Commission powers.
  • For more information see our detailed briefing on the 2016 Act.

Only a few provisions came into effect immediately. Further provisions came into force in July, October 2016 and November 2016.

The Cabinet Office provisional implementation plan for the 2016 Act, first published in May 2016 and available here, indicated that section 12 would come into force in April 2017, but as at June 2017 that provision is still not in force. Section 9 (apart from the small provision which came into force in July 2016) will not be commenced until there has been further engagement with charities involved in the rehabilitation of offenders, and a more detailed assessment of the impact of the provisions on ex-offenders, in line with commitments made in Parliament. In late 2016 the Charity Commission indicated that section 9 would not be brought into force before September 2017.

This table, which will be updated regularly, includes details of when the various provisions of the 2016 Act have or will come into force.

Provision of the 2016 Act Description Date of coming into force Comments
Section 1 Official warnings by the Commission  1 November 2016  
Section 2 Investigations and power to suspend  31 July 2016 (except for references to official warnings which come into force on 1 November 2016)  
Section 3 Range of conduct to be considered when exercising powers  31 July 2016  
Section 4 Power to remove trustees etc. following an inquiry  31 July 2016  
Section 5 Power to remove disqualified trustee  31 July 2016  
Section 6 Power to direct specified action not to be taken  31 July 2016  
Section 7 Power to direct winding up  31 July 2016  
Section 8 Power to direct property to be applied to another charity  31 July 2016  
Section 9 Automatic disqualification from being a trustee Section 9(4)(b) (which makes a minor change to the wording of the Charities Act 2011) came into force on 31 July 2016. The rest of section 9 is not yet in force.  
Section 10 Power to disqualify from being a trustee 1 October 2016  
Section 11 Records of disqualification and removal Section 11(5) came into force on 31 July 2016 and 1 October 2016  
Section 12 Participation in corporate decisions while disqualified    
Section 13 Fundraising  1 November 2016  
Section 14 Reserve powers to control fund-raising  31 July 2016  
Section 15 Power to make social investments  31 July 2016  
Section 16 Reviews of the operation of this Act 16 March 2016  
Section 17 Short title, extent and commencement 16 March 2016  


The new edition of The Charities Act Handbook, written by BWB, includes copies of the Charities Acts 1992 and 2011 showing the amendments made by the 2016 Act, together with detailed commentary on the new provisions. Please click here to purchase a copy.


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Alice Faure Walker

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Posted on 12/10/2016 in Legal Updates

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