Following the recent change in legislation to introduce the ‘Rule of Six’ across the country, England Golf and the Golf Club Managers’ Association have reviewed the guidance on staging committee meetings.
The government guidance makes exemptions to the ‘Rule of Six’ for the purpose of work, charitable or volunteering purposes. It is our understanding that this allows for the continuation of committee meetings with more than six people in attendance where at least one of those conditions is met.
While such meetings may be permitted, clubs must ensure that they are conducted in a risk-assessed COVID-safe environment with social distancing, regular sanitisation and good ventilation in place. The use of face coverings should also be considered.
The position is more complex when it comes to AGMs. While some attendees will be there for work, charitable or volunteering purposes, where more than six attendees do not meet any of those exceptions clubs will need to consider other options. These options include virtual or hybrid meetings or asking members to appoint proxies to keep the number of attendees within legal limits.
Meetings should have no more attendees that is strictly necessary and the length of any meeting should be kept as short as possible to minimise the risks associated with it.
Clubs should also understand the purpose and benefit of meeting in person and strongly consider the option of virtual meetings. Even where a meeting takes place, some members of the committee may feel unable to attend in person and provision should be made to engage them virtually.
Club Support Officers and Partnership Managers are able to support clubs wishing to organise virtual meetings.