9th December 2021
Virtual general meetings to continue
Threshold at which a company is deemed unable to pay its debts remains at €50,000
Extension of examinership to 150 days remains in place
The interim period of the Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Act 2020 has been extended to 30 April 2022 following Government approval this week. 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.
The Act ensures that 240,000 companies and 950 industrial and provident societies in Ireland can hold their Annual General Meetings (AGMs) and general meetings online.
It also provides for additional breathing space for struggling businesses by increasing the period of examinership to 150 days and increasing the threshold at which a company is deemed unable to pay its debts to €50,000.
Announcing the extension, Minister for Trade Promotion, Company Regulation and Digital, Robert Troy TD said,
“I am pleased to confirm the extension of the interim period of the Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Act in respect of the Companies Act 2014 and Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1893 to the 30 April 2022 following Government approval this week.
The recent resurgence in case numbers highlights the unpredictability of the pandemic and we must be ready to adapt to the evolving nature of the crisis. In that context, I believe it is prudent that the measures provided for by the Act should be retained as a contingency measure and as a way of providing certainty and stability for business over the winter/spring months.
The Government’s most recent advice concerning attendance at work is that such attendance should only occur when it is necessary to conduct essential work that can’t be undertaken in a remote setting. In order to be compatible with this advice I have further extended the provision for undertaking meetings in a virtual format to allow companies to fulfil their statutory obligations without compromising the health of participants. While these temporary extensions will give businesses much needed certainty in the months ahead, work is progressing to put virtual AGMs and general meetings on a permanent statutory footing and I look forward to introducing this next year.
I have also extended the amendments in respect of insolvency provisions until 30 April 2022. While I greatly welcome the return to growth and the very positive figures we are seeing for many sectors across the economy it is nevertheless difficult to quantify and ascertain the condition of many businesses, small businesses in particular, following the extensive shuttering of large parts of the economy. Extending these temporary provisions will give businesses much needed breathing space as we navigate the pandemic landscape.”
“This Government remains responsive to business needs and continues to adapt to the evolving nature of the pandemic. I have prioritised developing regulatory measures to assist businesses, such as the recently commenced small company rescue process and I will continue to review the Companies Acts and make any necessary changes in response to the COVID-19 crisis.”
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department has lead responsibility for Irish policy on global trade and inward investment and a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.
For further information please contact Press Office, D/Enterprise, Trade and Employment, firstname.lastname@example.org or (01) 631-2200
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