To help organisations navigate the ongoing uncertainty around holding AGMs and executing electronic documents in the current environment, the AICD has collaborated with the Governance Institute of Australia, Australasian Investor Relations Association and the Law Council of Australia to issue joint guidance.
As the the Treasurer’s COVID-19 relief has now expired and the Government’s Treasury Laws Amendment Bill (2021 Measures No.1)
, which proposed extending the COVID-19 relief to enable virtual AGMs and electronic signatures for a further six months, did not pass Parliament in March, the laws governing the holding of general meetings and executing documents has reverted to the pre-COVID-19 status quo. See our earlier article here
for further details.
In the meantime, ASIC has provided some assistance by adopting a ‘no action’ position in relation to the convening and holding of virtual meetings using technology. ASIC has not however taken a no action position with respect to electronic signatures.
This new joint guidance, Update on AGMs, electronic document execution and digital shareholder communications,will assist members understand the evolving legal landscape by providing:
- The latest legislative and regulatory updates, and what these mean for holding virtual-only AGMs, hybrid AGMs and issuing notices of meeting;
- Tips for holding AGMs in the current environment, including how to build in flexibility in case of changing circumstances such as another COVID-19 outbreak;
- Some key learnings from the 2020 AGM season on how to best prepare, mitigate risks and engage shareholders at meetings that use digital technology; and
- What you need to consider before and during the AGM.
You can access this guidance here.