Many of you may recall a provision that was created by the Government (under the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (the Act)) during the Covid pandemic, allowing charities and CIOs to hold meetings electronically (and, by association, be able to make valid governance decisions), even where their governing document did not specifically allow this.
Well, in case you weren’t aware, that temporary provision has now ceased (as at 31st March 2021 for the Act and 21st April 2022 for additional Charity Commission flexibility of the same matter).
As a result, charities must hold meetings in accordance with the provision of their governing document. Where this does not contain a provision for electronic meetings to be held, any such meetings are, therefore, not permissable meaning that any resolutions passed, or decisions made, will be invalid.
Anecdotal evidence suggests an increasing incidence of such situations … where charities are continuing to hold meetings, or pass resolutions, by virtual means where there is no power in their governing document.
If this applies to you, as a charity or CIO, please check your governing document as a matter of urgency. If you do have the power to continue with electronic meetings then all well and good. But if you don’t have a specific clause then you need to take action – either stop holding electronic meetings or, better still, look to update your governing document ASAP.
If you’d like any support or guidance in this matter, then please contact SCVO: firstname.lastname@example.org / 0121 525 1127 to see how we might be able to help.