Covid-19 updates

COVID-19 Update 22

Friday 17 April 2020

Dear AOA Member,

The Government has announced this afternoon that the Job Retention Scheme will be extended until the end of June, following the extension of the social distancing measures announced yesterday. This is good news, with AOA being one of the organisations that called for this extension to be announced this week, before companies would have had to start redundancy consultations.

The Corona Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) will also be expanded. Following representations by the AOA and other business groups, the capping of eligibility to businesses with a  turnover of £500m or less has been scrapped, and now all businesses with turnover of more than £45m will be able to apply for CLBLIS (launching 20 April), while for the very largest the Bank of England’s Covid-19 Commercial Financing Facility also remains available. Furthermore, companies with a turnover of more than £250 million can borrow up to £50 million from lenders, rather than the previous arbitrary cap of £25m. We will be discussing with airports whether this addresses the full need of our sector.

As I mentioned earlier this week, on Monday applications for the Job Retention Scheme will open. The Government has now provided a bit more detail on how to prepare to make your claim. Companies will need a Government Gateway (GG) ID and password (register here), be enrolled for PAYE online (register here), and have employment details for each furloughed employee (which you can enter directly if you have fewer than 100 staff, or upload via a spreadsheet for companies with more than 100 staff).

As some of our members may have experienced already, trade credit insurance is essential to provide the confidence and financial support needed for companies to supply existing and new partners. The current economic situation is making it difficult for insurers to price their risk and thus credit limits are reducing, which will impact wider markets. BEIS and HMT officials are working urgently with the Association of British Insurers (ABI), British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to assess the current market and consider how Government and the insurance industry might respond. If you have any examples of the potential impacts of this development, please let me know and we will pass this on to relevant officials.

Finally, much of today has been spent by the AOA team liaising with our partner organisations to align our work. We spoke to IATA, CBI and ADS today and are continuing to share our information between each other and identifying opportunities for further collaboration, particularly around the recovery phase.

I hope you have a good weekend,

Best wishes,

Karen Dee
Chief Executive