What COVID-19 might mean for your AGM – and how to plan for it?

With AGM season approaching, many registered companies and organisations have concerns over what contingency plans they need to have in place in response to the evolving COVID-19 outbreak.

In the absence of any specific legislative solutions, it falls to individual companies to take the necessary actions that are appropriate for them, their stakeholders and their members.

Governing documents hold the key to the type of actions you can take during this time and you MUST refer to your governing documents before progressing with any changes to your AGM during this period of uncertainty.

Organisations effectively have five options:

  1. Adapt the basis on which you hold the AGM;
  2. Delay convening the AGM, if notice has not yet been issued;
  3. Postpone the AGM, if permitted under the articles of association (Articles)/Constitution;
  4. Adjourn the AGM; or
  5. Conduct a hybrid AGM, if permitted under the Articles/Constitution.

Although as the situation continues to evolve, companies may ultimately have to use more than one of these options.

For those sporting organisations that are registered companies, the following guidance is available from The Chartered Governance Institute via the following link:

https://www.icsa.org.uk/assets/files/pdfs/guidance/agms-andimpact-of-covid-19-web.pdf

For those sporting organisations that are registered Charites in Northern Ireland, advice is available from Charity Commission Northern Ireland via the following link:

https://www.charitycommissionni.org.uk/charityessentials/covid-19-guidance/covid-19-guidance-forcharities/#MEETINGS

For those sporting organisations that are neither registered as a company with Companies House or as a charity with Charity Commission, good governance standards should be practiced at all times and advice that is relevant from the above links and that can be applied to your organisation should be implemented.