Former housing minister Alok Sharma has revealed new measures to allow agencies and other businesses to avoid insolvency during the virus crisis.
“These measures will give those firms extra time and space to weather the storm and be ready when the crisis ends whilst ensuring creditors get the best return possible in the circumstances” he said over the weekend.
Sharma - now the Business Secretary - says agencies and other categories of firms can be more easily restructured and there would be a temporary suspension of wrongful trading provisions for company directors to remove the threat of personal liability during the pandemic, which will apply retrospectively from March 1.
“However, to be clear, all of the other checks and balances that help to ensure directors fulfil their duties properly will remain in force” Sharma announced.
Companies required to hold annual general meetings will be be able to do so flexibly which “might include postponing or holding the AGM online, or by phone using only proxy voting.”
Sharma said most firms were acting appropriately in relation to their staff.
"If there are instances where organisations and businesses are not behaving appropriately in terms of their duty of care then of course there are organisations like the Health and Safety Executive who should be informed” he concluded.
Full details of the provisions are to be released this week and legislation to put these measures into law will be passed as soon as possible he added.