Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Act 2020 extended

May 03, 2022

The Act makes temporary amendments to the Companies Act 2014 and the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1893 to address issues arising as a result of Covid-19. The Act makes provision in respect of business solvency by increasing the period of examinership to 150 days and increasing the threshold at which a company is deemed unable to pay its debts to €50,000. The Act also extends the provisions allowing 240,000 companies and 950 industrial and provident societies in Ireland to hold their Annual General Meetings (AGMs) and general meetings by electronic means. The continuation of these important amendments will provide additional breathing space to struggling businesses and provide continuity for businesses to the end of this year.

The main features of the Act can be broadly summarised as follows, to:

  • provide that the measures will be operative for an interim period (this period has now been extended to 31 December 2022)
  • provide that both general and creditors’ meetings may be held virtually
  • allow documents which are required to be executed under seal to be executed in counterpart
  • increase the amount at which a statutory demand can be issued from €10/20,000 to €50,000
  • extend the examinership process to a total of 150 days (subject to court approval)
  • provide the Minister with regulation making power in respect of amending the operational detail of hybrid and virtual general meetings

The temporary measures contained in the Act amend the Companies Act to address both operational issues arising under the Act, along with insolvency measures considered necessary to alleviate pressure on company liquidity with a view to protecting viable businesses and preserving employment. The interim period of the Act has now been further extended to 31 December 2022.