This question has been received from Alice in New Zealand:

There are several paid staff in our incorporated society, some of whom attended the AGM. One of them is recorded as having seconded the financial report – is this allowed? And if not, how do we go about getting another seconder for it?

If a staff member is also  a full member of the society, then they can move, second and vote on motions. If they are not a member, then they cannot.

Even if they are a member, there may be a perceived conflict and so my advice would be to abstain from voting and from moving or seconding motions.

Since it has happened, the best way to handle it it so find another person who is willing to be recorded as the seconder. At the next meeting make that amendment to the minutes. Simply record that person x was mistakenly recorded as seconder for this motion and the seconder will be recorded as Person y.

Since it was at an AGM, that won’t happen until the next AGM and so it would be smart to attach a hard copy or electronic note to the minutes so the matter will not be forgotten in a year’s time.

The other option is to find the new person and communicate to those present at the AGM that the error was made and that the financial report acceptance motion will be recorded as having been seconded by Person Y. Through all of this, you do need to be careful that you do not alienate or unnecessarily embarrass the staff member who seconded the motion.

It would also be smart for the staff to be made aware that they cannot vote or move motions and the chair and secretary to be vigilant during the meeting.

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. 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.

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