The Charity Commission of England and Wales have announced that their flexible approach to charities holding meetings outside of the terms of their governing documents is coming to an end. From 22 April 2022, The Charity Commission expect all charities that want to postpone or cancel a meeting, or to hold meetings online, by telephone or on a hybrid basis, to make sure their governing document allows them to do this.
For trustees, this means checking if your charity’s governing document allows you to hold meetings online, by telephone or on a hybrid basis. If your governing document does not allow you to hold online, telephone or hybrid meetings you should consider making alterations to your governing documents to allow these types of virtual meetings. For trustees who are considering postponing or cancelling AGMs or other meetings, you should follow any rules in your charity’s governing document that allow for postponement or cancellation. If your governing document does not allow you to postpone or cancel meetings you should consider making alterations to your governing documents to ensure that your meetings are held in a valid format.
Updates to your governing documents should be made as soon as possible and trustees should use any powers in their governing documents to do this, this may include meeting in person to approve the changes.
This guidance points out the importance of trustees protecting their organisations through good governance. If you have any questions about the Charity Commission’s update or about how we can help advise you on your governing documents regarding the changes, please contact us.