The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland issues guidance about dividends during Covid-19

London, 1 May 2020 – The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland has today published guidance for listed companies about the withdrawal or amendment of the dividend resolution at their Annual General Meetings. Prepared with the assistance of Slaughter and May and members of The Chartered Governance Institute, the guidance forms part of a series of guidance that the Institute has published offering advice on the options companies have to run their AGM in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Peter Swabey, Policy and Research Director at The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland said:

“COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on businesses and many companies are undoubtedly faced with difficult decisions about how to manage cash prudently at this time. The Board may, therefore, conclude that it is no longer appropriate to recommend or declare a dividend that is due to be put to shareholders for approval at the Annual General Meeting. Alternatively, Boards may conclude that a dividend should still be paid, but the amount of the divided should be reduced. This guidance outlines some of the options companies have in respect of dividends at the current time.”

The guidance focuses on the following areas:

  • What a company can do if it wishes to withdraw or amend its dividend resolution
  • How proxy votes should be treated if the resolution is being amended to reduce the dividend after proxy votes have been submitted
  • Other information to be included in stock exchange announcements, such a trading updates and statements about inside information.

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Notes to Editors:

  1. The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland is the qualifying and membership body for governance with over 125 years’ experience of educating and supporting governance professionals. With a Royal Charter purpose of leading ‘effective and efficient governance and administration of commerce, industry and public affairs’, we provide professional development, guidance and thought leadership, and work with regulators and policy makers to champion high standards. Website:
  2. The guidance can be downloaded at 

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