Corporations Act pandemic amendments end Monday

Following the Senate’s failure to pass the Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No.1) Bill 2021 (the Bill) yesterday (see our report), the Corporations (Coronavirus Economic Response) Determination (No.3) 2020 (the determination) is repealed from 22 March 2021.

Schedule 1 of the Bill, which was widely supported by QLS and other stakeholders, sought to extend amendments to the Corporations Act 2001 made under the determination to:

  • Make temporary amendments to the rules relating to meetings of directors, shareholders of companies and members of registered schemes to facilitate the use of electronic technology. The new rules allowed meetings to be held virtually, provided that the members as a whole had a reasonable opportunity to participate. The changes also allowed documents relating to the meetings to be provided and signed electronically and minutes to be kept electronically.
  • Allow the electronic execution of company documents. Documents executed without a company seal could be signed electronically and the signatories do not need to sign the same copy. Documents executed with a seal could also be executed electronically and the witness may use alternative technology to observe the fixing of the seal.

The Bill sought to extend these measures until September and its delay now means that after Monday 22 March 2021 existing requirements in the Corporations Act 2001 are in force. Practitioners and their corporate clients will need to revert to the processes followed before the pandemic changes were introduced in May 2020.

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