Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, many otherwise economically viable businesses are experiencing significant trading difficulties.
Back in June 2020, the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (or CIGA 2020 for short) received Royal Assent, and set out both permanent and temporary measures intended to give struggling businesses a lifeline during the current crisis.
One of the temporary measures introduced was that any Statutory Demands served during the ‘relevant period’ would be deemed null and void.
Another temporary measure meant that the presentation of Winding Up Petitions was restricted in certain circumstances. (reference previous article I wrote)
The aim of these measures was to support businesses, help them to avoid insolvency and survive as a going concern, and they were more than gratefully received by the many that found themselves financially struggling as a consequence of the pandemic.
The ‘relevant period’ referred to within the Act was initially set as being 27 April to 30 June 2020.
This date was subsequently extended to the 31 March 2021.
This week, the Government has once again extended the relevant period deadline, making it now (in relation to these two measures specifically) the 30 June 2021.
As such, Statutory Demands will remain to be void if served on a company between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2021.
Winding -up petitions presented during this period on the basis that a company is unable to pay its debts will be reviewed by the court to determine the cause of non-payment. Where the unpaid debt is due to Covid-19, no winding up order will be made.
The aim is to give businesses the opportunity to reach realistic and fair agreements with all creditors.
Whilst this further extension will come as a welcome relief for many, for others who are due outstanding monies from their suppliers or clients, this could be seen as a further hurdle in the road to recovery.
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