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.

EOA Better Together Webinars

Click here for further information on our series of EOA Better Together Webinars that we are running to support our members and the EO Community during this crisis.

EO Community – Get Involved

Click here to see how you can get involved to help with the national effort to tackle COVID-19 as well as how you can help the EOA to best represent the interests of our members and the employee owned sector to government. You’ll also find inspirational stories from members of the EO Community on how they’re tackling the coronavirus ciris, and details of how to submit your own stories for inclusion.

FAQs - The EOA

  • 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) 667122 | 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 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/

  • What will be happening with the upcoming EOA Summer Social?

    Update 30/04/2020: EOA Summer Social 2020 - Cancellation

    Unfortunately, due to the current Covid-19 situation and social distancing rules, the EOA has made the decision to cancel the upcoming EOA Summer Social due to be held on the 18th June 2020 at the House of Commons, London. As a result of the ongoing uncertainty, we have also taken the decision not to reschedule the event to a future date and are therefore issuing full refunds for the tickets which have already been purchased.

    For attendees who have outstanding payments for this event, we will simply credit note the outstanding invoice on our system.

    For attendees who have made full payment, please send your company bank details on a company letter headed document with authorisation signature to annabelle.lewis@employeeownership.co.uk We will aim to complete refunds within 7 days of receiving the details from you.

    During these challenging times, whilst face to face engagement with our members is not possible, the EOA continues to provide opportunities to engage, learn and problem solve; via the EO Hub; through direct introductions via our team; and through our new weekly ‘Better Together’ webinars – free to attend with details and recordings found here. In addition, we are providing up to date signposting to relevant information resources and insights from other EOA members on our dedicated Covid-19 page here and continue to update members with relevant news via our social media channels on Twitter and Linkedin.

    We will miss welcoming you to this year’s Summer Social, but very much look forward to the time when we can meet in person again and in the meantime if we can be of any help, please do get in touch.

FAQs - Finance & CBILS

  • 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.

    Read more here.

  • What is the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme?

    The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provides financial support to smaller businesses (SMEs) across the UK that are losing revenue, and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The scheme is a part of a wider package of government support for UK businesses and employees.

    CBILS has been significantly expanded along with changes to the scheme’s features and eligibility criteria. The changes mean even more smaller businesses across the UK impacted by the coronavirus crisis can access the funding they need.

    Importantly, access to the scheme has been opened up to those smaller businesses who would have previously met the requirements for a commercial facility but would not have been eligible for CBILS. Insufficient security is no longer a condition to access the scheme.

    Read more at the Government’s Business Support website.

  • Which lenders supply CBILS?

    British Business Bank operates CBILS via its accredited lenders. There are over 40 of these lenders currently working to provide finance.

    These include: high-street banks, challenger banks, asset-based lenders, smaller specialist local lenders. The type of finance they offers varies.

    A list of them can be found here.

    Please use the relevant filters on the page to find providers who offer the type of finance you are seeking.

  • Who is liable for a CBILS loan?

    CBILS gives the lender a government-backed guarantee for the loan repayments to encourage more lending. The borrower remains fully liable for the debt. Under the scheme, personal guarantees of any form will not be taken for facilities below £250,000.

    For facilities above £250,000, personal guarantees may still be required, at a lender’s discretion, but: recoveries under these are capped at a maximum of 20% of the outstanding balance of the CBILS facility after the proceeds of business assets have been applied; a Principal Private Residence (PPR) cannot be taken as security to support a personal guarantee or as security for a CBILS-backed facility.

    More information is available here.

  • What are the eligibility criteria for applying for CBILS?

    Under CBILS, the definition of SME is confined to the turnover of an Applicant (or an Applicant’s group), which must not exceed £45 million. The Borrower cannot be an individual other than where the individual is a sole trader or a partner in a partnership and is acting in a business capacity.

    More information is available here.

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

    CBILS 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

  • What if my business has turnover of more than £45m and I would not be eligible for CBILS/ What is the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme?

    The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) will ensure that more firms are able to benefit from government-backed support during this difficult time. It provides a government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £200 million to firms with an annual turnover of between £45 million and £500 million.

    Loans backed by a guarantee under CLBILS will be offered at commercial rates of interest.

    On May 26 2020 the government extended the maximum loan size available through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme from £50 million to £200 million.

    Changes brought in under this expanded scheme mean companies receiving help through CLBILS and the Bank of England’s Coronavirus Corporate Financing Fund will be asked to agree to not pay dividends and to exercise restraint on senior pay.

    More information is available here.

  • 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.

    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 is available on the Bank of England Website.

FAQs - Employment, HR & the Job Retention Scheme

  • 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 has been extended twice with the first phase introduced to run to the end of May. This scheme now runs until October 2020 with extra flexibilities expected to be introduced in August.

    More information is available on the Government webpage.

  • Does the 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.

    However, employees are eligible to take part in volunteering or training as long as it does not provide services to or generate revenue for, or on behalf of your organisation.

    Find out more here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

  • 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 Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme went live on May 26 2020, via an online service for SME employers - with fewer than 250 employees - to recover Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees. Employers will receive repayments at the relevant rate of SSP that they have paid to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.

    Further information is available HERE

  • Can newly hired employees be placed on furlough?

    Employees hired after 28 February 2020 cannot be furloughed or claimed for in accordance with the Job Retention Scheme.

    Source: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

  • If a company has an Employee Owned Trust are they required to consult with Employee Trustees in respect to decisions around Furloughing employees?

    It is unlikely that Furlough would be included in lists of which particular steps a company's directors may take only with prior consent from the trustees.

    However, you should refer to any such list your company has, both the directors and the trustees should ensure they are familiar with it so that if any action on it is contemplated, trustee agreement is sought as best practice.

    Further information is available HERE

  • How can we make sure we are keeping employees and customers safe as we return to work?

    The government released new safety guidance at work that focuses on the types of workplaces with guidance on 8 types of workplaces.

    It sets out practical steps for each that cover 5 key points:

    • Work from home if you can

    • Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment in consultation with workers or trade unions

    • Maintain 2 meters social distancing wherever possible

    • Where people cannot be 2 meters apart, manage transmission risk

    • Reinforcing cleaning processes

    Consult all the guidance documents that apply to your business via this link .

    The guidance has been developed following a national consultation with input from 250 businesses, unions, industry bodies, the devolved administrations, Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive. It develops best practice on the safest ways of working across the economy, providing people with the confidence they need to return to work.

    The guidance applies to businesses currently open. This also includes guidance for shops which we believe may be able to begin a phased reopening at the earliest from the 1 June. Guidance for other sectors that are not currently open will be developed and published ahead of those establishments opening to give those businesses time to plan.

FAQs - Mental Health & Personal Wellbeing

Keep Scrolling For Further Information & Resources