On the 15th December, 2023, the Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Dara Calleary TD, announced that the interim period of the Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Act 2020 which relates to the holding of virtual meetings, including AGMs, had been further extended to 31 December 2024.
The Act makes temporary amendments to the Companies Act, 2014 and the Industrial and Provident Societies Act, 1893 to address issues arising as a result of Covid-19 pandemic which saw restrictions on in-person meetings, travel restrictions and a limit on the number of people that could gather. The news of the extension of the Act will allow 240,000 companies and 950 industrial and provident societies in Ireland to continue to hold their Annual General Meetings (AGMs) and general meetings by electronic means including Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype & other video conferencing platforms.
It was further advised that the Department would be bringing forward a permanent legislative amendment to the Companies Act, 2014 in relation to virtual and hybrid meetings.
Minister Calleary said:
“The further extension of this important provision will provide longer term certainty for companies and co-operatives. It will allow companies and co-operatives to continue to comply with their legal obligations and allow members to hold directors accountable.
This extension will provide for consistency into 2024, when my Department will be bringing forth permanent legislative provisions in relation to virtual and hybrid meetings.
In recent times Irish businesses have faced unprecedented challenges from increasing business costs to supply chain disruptions due to geopolitical tensions to changing consumer spending patterns post Covid-19. In spite of this there has been a rapid resumption in economic activity and thus far business failures have remained low.
Government have been steadfast in our commitment to backing business, supporting economic recovery and making sure as many people as possible retain their jobs. I am proud of the results of our efforts and supports which have so far prevented a rise in the level of business failures that may otherwise have been expected from the immediate impacts of Covid-19 trading restrictions. This Government will continue to provide significant support to Irish businesses throughout this challenging time of rising cost of living and cost of doing business.”