The Bill sets out amendments to the Companies Act 2014 in order to effect the proposed company law changes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The key changes are detailed below:
Sealing by companies - with officers of the company in various locations, a provision will allow documents under seal to be executed separately and then treated as constituting one and the same instrument.
General Meetings (AGMs and EGMs) - the Bill proposes a number of temporary amendments to the Companies Act on holding and conducting general meetings, irrespective of anything to the contrary in a company's constitution.
Extension of time for holding AGM: a company may postpone its AGM until 31 December 2020.
Electronic/virtual general meetings: general meetings need not be held at a physical venue and may be fully conducted by electronic/virtual means, "provided all those entitled to attend have a reasonable opportunity to participate".
Change of location and date of general meetings: the date, location and/or means of holding an AGM may be changed at any time up to five business days prior to the scheduled time.
Dividend resolutions: directors may withdraw a resolution to approve a dividend or put an amended resolution to the meeting to approve a dividend less than that originally proposed.
Creditors' meetings - electronic meetings.
Increase in debt threshold for windings up.
Power of the Court to extend the period in which an examiner can present a report to the Court.
Most of the provisions will apply for an "interim period", expiring on 31 December 2020. This period may be extended by the Government.