With the Covid-19 outbreak placing unprecedented pressure on business, companies are having to rapidly adapt the way they carry out their corporate duties and responsibilities. Last month, in response to queries regarding Annual General Meetings (“AGMS”), the Chartered Governance Institute published two pieces of guidance titled “AGMs and impact of Covid-19” and “AGMs and impact of Covid-19: Supplement”. The latter was necessary after the Government announcement of more stringent “Stay at Home Measures”, passed into law on 26th March 2020.
“At a time of great uncertainty, companies and directors will need to focus on making the critical decisions that will enable them to get through the period with least disruption” states the guidance. Whilst the advice is focused more acutely on suggesting an approach for listed companies to hold a valid general meeting in these unorthodox times, a great many of the suggestions and support will be applicable to businesses of all sizes, whether listed or private.
The advice stresses that it offers suggestions only and, as with any corporate responsibility related decision, a company will need to consider their individual circumstances; regular references are made to the importance of adhering to the company’s own articles of association (the “Articles”).
In short, the guidance covers the following options for a listed company to take when planning their AGMs during the spread of Covid-19:
The Guidance recognises that there may be instances where it will be necessary to use more than one of the options above or a combination of the two; the full guidance can be found here.
For more information or business assistance call our Business Response Team on 07776 305 578, and speak to one of our Partners.