The Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No. 1) Act 2021 is now in force.
From 13 August 2021, the Act means that meetings of directors and shareholders of Companies, and members of registered schemes, can be held virtually. This power currently extends until 1 April 2022. The amendments also allow documents to be executed by a company electronically and in counterpart.
Previously all documents signed by a company were required to be signed in hard copy and each director or officer of the company was required to sign the same hard copy document.
During 2020, there were temporary amendments made to legislation to allow more flexibility due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. These temporary amendments expired in March 2021.
The new legislation now extends those temporary measures through to April 2022.
If a company wishes to continue to hold virtual meetings, they should consider making amendments to their constitution to allow for this flexibility.
It should be noted that while the new laws allow for greater flexibility, there is still restrictions on how the meetings are to be held, for example, there must be both audio and visual access at the meeting and all attendees of meetings must be provided with sufficient information and access to the meeting and any documents tabled.
Further, if counterparts of documents are to be signed, each signed counterpart must be a full copy of the document.
If you require assistance with managing these changes, please contact our commercial business team.