On 6 May 2020, temporary modifications to the Corporations Act took effect to further facilitate the holding of meetings, including AGMs, using one or more technologies that give all persons entitled to attend a reasonable opportunity to participate without being physically present in the same place (see the Corporations (Coronavirus Economic Response) Determination (No. 1) 2020). The temporary modifications will cease at the end of 5 November 2020.
While COVID-19 restrictions on movement and large gatherings remain in place, ASIC strongly encourages companies to hold their AGM either as a â€˜virtualâ€™ meeting, where members participate via online facilities, or as a â€˜hybridâ€™ meeting, if circumstances permit, where a small physical meeting is held linked with online facilities that allow members to participate remotely.
ASIC considers it important that hybrid or virtual meetings are facilitated and conducted in a way that provides a reasonable opportunity for members to participate, as required under the Corporations Act and the Determination. This includes giving members a reasonable opportunity to ask questions live.
To assist companies and responsible entities to meet these requirements, and ensure that meetings adopting virtual technology are conducted in a meaningful and effective way, ASIC has issued Guidelines on the calling and holding of virtual and hybrid meetings of members.
The Guidelines include ASICâ€™s guidance on the content of the Notice of Meeting for calling a virtual or hybrid meeting.
ASIC has also adopted a â€œno actionâ€ position where public companies with year ends up to 7 July 2020 do not hold their AGMs within 5 months of the end of their financial year, but do so up to seven months after year end.
For further information in that regard, or if you would like us to help with your Notice of Meeting for 2020 or other AGM requirements, please contact us at McGuinnLegal.
To view the Guidelines, visit: