27 October 2021
The Federal Government has introduced permanent changes to the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Act) allowing companies to use technology to meet regulatory requirements under the legislation, a long-awaited and welcomed change for both companies and their shareholders.
The proposed changes will allow companies to:
The reforms build on temporary amendments to the Act which were introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and are due to expire on 31 March 2022. The move to permanence follows two rounds of consultation on earlier exposure drafts.
The details are set out in the Corporations Amendment (Meetings and Documents) Bill 2021 (Bill), introduced into Parliament on 20 October 2021.
If passed in its current form, the Bill would permit companies and registered schemes to:
There are some key differences between the Bill and the current temporary measures. Importantly, the Bill will:
The reforms will apply to actions taken after the current temporary relief measures expire on 31 March 2022.
Amidst the ongoing uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, the proposed reforms ensure that companies have the necessary flexibility to continue to meet their obligations under the Act and will be warmly welcomed as a positive step in modernising how companies can engage with their members and manage their everyday business.
Until these changes come into play, companies and shareholders should continue to rely on the temporary relief measures implemented until 31 March 2022 and ensure they are prepared for the changes if and when they are passed in the coming months.
Authors: Georgia Milne & Shenaye Ralphs
The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this article is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.