The Federal Government has today announced plans to introduce sanctions for charities that fail to join to the National Redress Scheme for victims of institutional child sexual abuse.

The changes include a new Governance Standard and an amendment to the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission Act 2012 (the ACNC Act).

Under the new Governance Standard, registered charities will be required to take all reasonable steps to become a participating non-government institution in the National Redress Scheme if a claim has been, or is likely to be, made against them.

The amendment to the ACNC Act will mean religious institutions will not be eligible to be classified as Basic Religious Charities (BRC), and exempt from the ACNC Governance Standards, if they have been named in an application but have not joined the Scheme.

ACNC Commissioner the Hon Dr Gary Johns said the Commission was engaged in the development of the legislation.

“Affected charities risk losing charity registration and access to a range of Commonwealth charity tax concessions, which is a serious penalty,” he said. “I am pleased to note that out of more than 58,000 Australian charities only a very small number are likely to be affected.”

He added that no action would be taken until these changes become law.

Read the full announcement.

See more information about the National Redress Scheme at nationalredress.gov.au.