Legislative programme at Westminster to 2015

The final Queens Speech for the current parliament, before the elections in May 2015, was given on 4th June.

There are two legislative items of specific interest to the voluntary sector:

Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill (for England and Wales). The Justice Secretary announced this recently saying it will “slay ‘elf and safety’ and jobsworth culture” that can discourage community work (http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/governance/news/content/17567/). NCVO’s initial comments. There is a further NCVO article from the Head of the Institute for Volunteering Research: ‘Risk and litigation in volunteering: the power of perception’, which mentions a national survey that found that nearly half of those not volunteering (but who wanted to) cited risk/liability as a worry.

A draft Protection of Charities Bill, which would give more powers to the Charity Commission (England and Wales). This follows on from a consultation last year, but the actual law will not be put to this session of parliament. Civil Society Media news item http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/governance/news/content/17590/.

NCVO has other key points for the sector from the Queen’s Speech. For the government’s own material, see https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/queens-speech-2014.