Minister of State Dara Calleary has announced the extension of certain Company Act measures (temporarily introduced under emergency pandemic legislation) to 31 December 2023.
First, the extension of the increased threshold at which a company is deemed unable to pay its debts to €50,000, and secondly (for companies and industrial and provident societies), allowing them to hold general meetings (annual, extraordinary or creditors) virtually (with certain preconditions and protections) until 31 December 2023.
The initial justification for these measures in Spring 2020 was from a public health perspective, whilst also allowing for the continuation of commerce during the pandemic.
In a sign of an evolving situation, the Minister’s statement announcing the extension of the temporary measures to 31 December 2023 instances the continuing and further significant burdens on struggling businesses following on from the effects of the pandemic. The Minister then justifies the extension of the provisions as providing longer term certainty for businesses “at this critical phase of the response to the pandemic”, bolstering the Government’s commitment to backing business and supporting economic recovery.
Given that Irish society has essentially fully opened up following the acute phase of the pandemic, might these further extensions presage more permanent changes to aspects of company law?