Blog article

COVID‑19 and co-ops: Governance, HR and support measures

As we stand in the midst of the COVID‑19 pandemic we know this is an incredibly difficult time for everyone – including of course our members and the co-op movement more widely. We stand in solidarity with you and will provide what support we can over the coming months. 

In response to a growing number of member concerns we have produced practical HR and governance advice. We have also produced a quick guide to accessing government support measures

HR advice

We have been inundated with calls from members who are concerned about protecting employees and members from coronavirus. There's also uncertainty over appropriate action when employees are absent from work. And confusion over how and when to furlough employees to access the government's job retention scheme.

From work absence due to self-isolation, concerns over the impact of school closures, furloughing employees and much more. Read our comprehensive HR advice which covers pay and absenteeism – and a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs).


Business support

We have examined the extensive measures government is introducing to help small businesses cope with the disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Read our summary of the support measures in a quick and simple guide, explaining what support is available, the type of businesses eligible and how to apply. To ensure co-ops are adequately covered in these support measures we have also written to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy


Governance advice

Many of our members have voiced concerns about not being able to hold their annual general meeting (AGM). In response we have produced AGM and member meeting guidance.

The guidance examines alternative approaches to staging an AGM and the measures co-ops should put in place to ensure good governance and member participation.  

read our governance guidance


Our COVID-19 advice webpages will be regularly reviewed with updates communicated via email as and when appropriate.

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For co-operative business advice enquiries please contact us on [email protected]

Written by Emma Laycock
Updated: 22/05/2020