I received this question from Andrew in Hong Kong:
I work in a social service organization. Due to the outspread of the COVID-19, most of the meetings are conducted with the ZOOM software. What are the procedures we need to pay attention to before starting such types of meeting?
Are the decisions made in Zoom meetings valid as if any ordinary meeting?
The procedures for a Zoom meeting are no different to a normal meeting except that you need to make sure that everyone who is entitled to participate in the meeting, is actually able to participate. It would be unfair, for example if certain people were unable to participate for whatever reason. The meeting would lose their experience and opinions and there may some accusations later that they were deliberately excluded.
It is also important for everyone to know who is also participating and so it is wise to ask everyone to turn on their camera so that everyone can see everyone else – at least at the beginning of the meeting.
This also takes care of another issue and that is making sure that the people who are actually on the Zoom link, are entitled to be there and you do not have a “Zoombomber” in your meeting.
Finally, it is important that people can be heard properly – this is actually far more important than the video – audio is king when doing video.
The second part of your question:
As long as the correct notice of the meeting has been sent and there are no rules in your organisations constitution or bylaws that say you cannot have virtual meetings, then the decisions are valid. Your do need to keep minutes and records of the decisions of course.
I hope this answers your question.
Please Note: The author accepts no responsibility for anything which occurs directly or indirectly as a result of using any of the suggestions or procedures detailed in this blog. This is not, and should not be taken as legal advice. The author is not a lawyer. All suggestions and procedures are provided in good faith as general guidelines only and should be used in conjunction with appropriate advice relevant legislation, constitutions, rules, laws, by-laws, and with reasonable judgement. If you are in any doubt, seek appropriate advice.