The “interim period” for two measures provided for in the Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Act 2020 will be further extended. We look at what impact the extension of these measures will have for companies doing business in Ireland.
Measures being extended – virtual meetings and statutory demand limits
The key measures being extended to 31 December 2023 are as follows:
- Both general and creditors’ meetings may continue to be held virtually
- The increase in the amount at which a statutory demand can be issued, from €10,000/€20,000 to €50,000, is maintained
These are both welcome extensions.
Measures being discontinued – execution under seal and examinership period
The “interim period” for the following measures will not be extended:
- Section 43A of the Companies Act 2014, which allows documents which are required to be executed under seal to be executed in counterpart, so that the seal and the signatures of the authorised signatories can be on separate pages. Deeds will still be able to be executed in counterpart in the usual way.
- The extension of the time period within which an examiner is required to report to the court under Section 534 of the Companies Act from 100 days to a total of 150 days, subject to court approval.
The extension of the interim period for the measures outlined above are welcome.
The ability for companies to hold general meetings either exclusively or partly by electronic means has proved popular. It has encouraged personal attendance at meetings, while relieving companies of the cost of booking a venue or at least enabling them to book smaller venues.
The extension to the increased threshold for the issuing of a statutory demand is reflective of the continuing challenges faced by businesses in the current economic environment. It will continue to ensure that companies cannot be wound up under the statutory demand procedure under the Companies Act for debts of less than €50,000.
The discontinuance of the temporary measures around the execution of documents and examinership are not entirely unexpected. These temporary measures were enacted in August 2020 during the height of the pandemic and will no longer apply from 31 December 2022.
The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other advice.