Regulator allows Charity AGMs to be delayed until September

The latest guidance from the Charity Commission has confirmed that due to the impact of Coronavirus and concerns over safety, charity’s annual general meetings (AGMs) can be delayed until 30 September if they had been due to be held during lockdown.

In its guidance note, the regulator said that “Coronavirus is having a major impact on charity events and the Government’s health advice may lead to some charities having no choice but to decide to cancel or postpone their AGMs and other critical meetings”.

To help organisations remain compliant the Commission has increased the flexibility of how and when AGMs are conducted, under the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020, which was given Royal Assent in July.

According to the watchdog, these temporary changes “make it lawful for charitable companies and charitable incorporated organisations to postpone members’ meetings or to hold them remotely, even if this is not allowed by the charitable company’s articles of association or the CIO’s constitution”.

The new rule only applies to any AGMs that were due to be held between 26 March and 21 August. However, the Commission has made it clear that the temporary changes do not apply to trustee meetings or meetings of trusts and other unincorporated charities.

The Commission says the 30 September deadline might also be extended if the Government considers it necessary.

The Commission also said that charities that had clauses in their governing documents that allow them to meet virtually or over the phone could hold AGMs via these methods.

It is encouraging trustees “to check their governing document and see if they can make amendments themselves to facilitate changes as to how or when meetings are held”.

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