EO Community - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to develop the EOA is here to listen, signpost and support our members and the EO Community.

We are using our links with Government, CBI, ICAEW, the Inclusive Economy Partnership, the Managing Partners Forum and others – to ensure that our members are able to access the most up to date information and guidance for businesses.

On this page we’ll be recording the most frequently asked questions by members of the employee owned community, as well as providing links to further useful resources for the EO community.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What support is the Employee Ownership Association offering?

    We’re here to listen, signpost and support you to continue engaging, innovating and sharing best practice to make sure the EO community is as resilient as possible during the most economically challenging times since the Second World War.

    We’ll offer daily updates on Twitter, on our website and in the FAQs here. Plus weekly webinars and updates via email. Members can also log in to the EO Hub forum to create discussions on EO related actions and activity relating to Coronavirus.

    You can find contact details for the EOA team below:

    Oliver Smith – Head of Membership 07964 084671 | Oliver.Smith@employeeownership.co.uk

    Hannah Welch – Membership Development Manager (01482) 692540 | Hannah.Welch@employeeownership.co.uk

    Keely Lead - Head of Communications and Marketing 07432 288107 | keely.lead@employeeownership.co.uk

    Anne Richardson – External Communications and Partnerships Executive (01482) 692544 | Anne.Richardson@employeeownership.co.uk

    Ross Herring – Digital Communications Executive (01482) 692543 | Ross.Herring@employeeownership.co.uk

    Lisa Steel – Head of Operations and Finance (01482) 692535 | lisa.steel@employeeownership.co.uk

    Annabelle Lewis – Operations and Finance Executive (01482) 692536 | Annabelle.Lewis@employeeownership.co.uk

    Charlie North – Operations and Finance Apprentice (01482) 692537 | Charlie.North@employeeownership.co.uk

  • What will be happening with upcoming EOA events, such as the Annual Conference?

    The current Coronavirus measures, and our wish to support those efforts, mean that we have not yet launched ticket sales for the EOA Conference 2020.

    We are working with our event partner and the venue to see what is possible and, taking into account what the future guidance from the Government on Coronavirus measures is, we will make a decision before June on whether to go ahead or postpone.

    • Please also note - our Quarter 2 Regional Networks in June have been cancelled. Look out for our series of webinars that will run throughout the next 12 weeks. https://employeeownership.co.uk/events/category/webinar/

    • We have also taken the decision to postpone the EOA Summer Social, which was to be held in June, and will confirm a future date on this as soon as is possible in accordance with Government guidance on social gatherings. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-guidance-for-mass-gatherings

  • What kind of financial support is available for businesses?

    A full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees. The link below helps businesses find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.


  • What is the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme?

    The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports small and medium-sized businesses with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million, for up to six years.

    The Government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

    The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the Government-owned British Business Bank.

    There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks.

    You can find further information here: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme/

  • How do I apply for Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme?

    CBIL is backed by the British Business Bank. The scheme has a number of accredited lenders. Applications are handled via the lenders.

    Details of the participating lenders can be found here: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/accredited-lenders/

  • What is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?

    Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

    This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the pay roll, otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers’. HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month. This is to safeguard workers from being made redundant.

    The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1st and is initially open for 3 months, but will be extended if necessary.

    Further information is available here: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme/

  • Does the Governments Job Retention Scheme cover Employee Owned businesses?

    All of the current available information indicates that all UK businesses are covered, this would include Employee Owned businesses.

    Further information is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#bpt

  • Can furloughed employees continue on reduced working hours?

    The current understanding of the guidance available is that employees must not work during the period of furlough laid out in the Job Retention Scheme.

    Source: https://www.icaew.com/insights/viewpoints-on-the-news/2020/mar-2020/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-furlough-guidance

  • Can workers claim redundancy pay whilst on the Job Retention Scheme?

    No. This scheme ensures that workers will continue to be employed and paid a proportion of their wages and therefore are not entitled to redundancy pay.

    Source: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk

  • What should an employer do if they think their workers are critical but not on the list?

    Employers should carefully consider the guidance available. It sets out the key workers who will not be able to work from home. Employers should help their staff find alternative arrangements to support them working from home where possible. Employers can contact the Government department responsible for their sector if they have any questions.

    Source: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk

  • What is Statutory Sick Pay Rebate and how do I claim it?

    The Government will bring forward legislation to allow small and medium-sized businesses to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for staff sickness absence due to coronavirus. This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of coronavirus.

    A scheme is currently being implemented. Further details can be found here: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay-rebate/

  • What is the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

    The new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) means that the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies. This will support companies which are fundamentally strong, but have been affected by a short-term funding squeeze. It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms. The scheme will be funded by central bank reserves – in line with other Bank of England market operations. It will operate for at least 12 months, and for as long as steps are needed to relieve cash flow pressures on firms that make a material contribution to the UK economy.

    Companies – and their finance subsidiaries – that make a material contribution to the UK economy are able to participate in the facility. More information on eligibility can be found on the Bank of England Website

    In order to access the CCFF, you will need to contact your bank. It is important to note that not all banks issue commercial paper. If your bank does not issue commercial paper, UK Finance will provide a list of banks that are able to assist. More information can be found on the Bank of England website.

EOA Webinars

Each week, the EOA will be running a webinar covering COVID-19 best practice for the EO Community, featuring expert guest speakers and updates from the EOA on what we’re doing to help you, our members.

The first webinar is available below, we’ll be updating this page with links to each of our webinars as they happen.


Upcoming Webinars

02/04/2020 – EOA Webinar – Job retention during the coronavirus crisis; how are employee owned businesses responding?

What can you do to help?

Help support the national effort, and your employee owners

The UK needs to increase its supply of vital medical equipment. One of the items in need are ventilators. If you think you may be able to help, please get in touch with BEIS Business Support Helpline on 0300 456 3565 or visiting https://ventilator.herokuapp.com

If businesses have other ideas about how they may be able to help, please contact coronavirussupport@cbi.org.uk.

Our members are doing everything they can to support both the national effort, and their employee owners. We’d love to hear about what you’re doing to help, send your COVID-19 stories to ross.herring@employeeownership.co.uk

Your Stories

Scott Bader launches new thickener for alcohol based hand cleansers to help global effort

Rowlinson Knitwear: Overwhelmed? So Are We!

Help us to answer your questions

The EOA is looking to gather as much information from our members as possible so that we can provide accurate answers to your questions, as well as represent your needs to government. Please take the time send your answers to the below short survey to anne.richardson@employeeownership.co.uk.

1)    Have you applied for either of the below loans?
– Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
– Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF)

If you have not applied for either of the above, please go to Q5

2)    What is the current status of your application?
– Pending
– Accepted
– Rejected
If you were rejected please provide further detail and the reason why.

3)    Were you asked to put up a personal guarantee?
– Yes
– No

4)    Please provide a general description of your experience applying for COVID-19 loans

5)    If you have not applied for CBILS or CCFF, please give your reasons below.  
For example, this could be as a result of not understanding the process, you were able to secure finance from another source, or issues around the personal guarantee clause.

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