Thanks to the unique way Student Unions are run and the activities we do, there is quite a bit legislation covering our operations. Some of it you will never know about, some of it will have a direct impact on what you do as well as what we do. Here is a guide to what laws cover the Union, how we comply with them, and who is responsible for keeping up to date with them.

Ultimately, it is the board of trustees who are responsible for complying with relevant legislation, however it is the role of staff to advise and monitor for updates on legislation and advise accordingly how to remain legal.

Legislation that affects the union


Who’s affected?

Who is responsible for compliance

Removes exemption from the Students’ Union Charitable status and requires the Union to register with the Charities Commission for England and Wales. Creates a third regulatory body that the Union must report to, the main effects are

  • ‘Paid’ trustees must be in minority
  • Annual Report in Charity format
  • Charitable activities must have public benefit
  • Annual Report, and finances published on Commission Website
  • Club and Society own funds held within Students’ Union and not in separate bank account
  • President
  • VP Activity
  • ​Chief Executive
  • Deputy CEO

The first act to acknowledge Student Unions and to introduce minimum standards for governance. The main effects of this act are:

  • Students may only be major office holders (sabbaticals) for up to two years
  • Requirement to publish affiliations
  • Allows University students the right to opt out of being a member of the Students Union
  • Places obligation on the University to be the regulator of the Union for the areas covered in the act
  • ​President
  • VP Voice
  • Union Chair
  • Returning Officer
  • Chief Executive
  • Deputy CEO

As a result of incorporating the Union is now subject to the Companies Act. This enshrines the principle that Students are the Students’ Union, we have no shareholders and everything belongs to the students of the University of Surrey. The main effects of the act are

  • Requirement to publish accounts and company information to Companies House
  • Union now exists as a legal entity in it’s own right
  • Company members (students) now have statutory rights as part owners of the company
  • Personal liability of directors (trustees) is now limited
  • Actions of trustees as directors now subject to regulatory standards
  • ​President
  • Chief Executive
  • Finance and Legal Co-Ordinator

The Union now has to clearly separate its use of data from that of the University, and is fully subject to the Data Protection act. The main effects are:

  • Data sharing agreement now in place between Union and University, information on this is provided at registration
  • Union now has a data protection statement and policy of its own
  • ​Operations Manager

This governs the sale of alcohol, entertainment and even the late night food provision from Pizzaman.  We operate according to four licensing objectives:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  • Public safety
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • The protection of children from harm

Find out more here

  • Chief Executive
  • Community Manager
  • Venue Manager
  • Duty Managers

​Established the Security Industry Authority (SIA). This piece of legislation regulated (amongst other things) door staff. Hence we have external door staff at Rubix.

  • Chief Executive
  • Community Zone Manager