Everyone at British Judo hopes that our members, clubs, officials, referees and volunteers are all staying safe during this turbulent and unprecedented time.

It goes without saying that this will be a difficult time for all but with the judo family pulling together, we will get through this! We just want to provide an update for all members in what is a constantly changing environment, especially after last night’s announcement from the Prime Minister.

We are working hard on new content ideas to keep our social media audiences engaged over the next month so stay tuned for some great fitness and home workout videos submitted by our Performance Coaches and Athletes. It is important that you remain active despite the lockdown imposed and these videos are a fantastic way of ensuring you stay mobile in your house and out in the garden. We have a Board meeting on Wednesday to discuss ideas moving forwards – we will feedback on the outcomes on Thursday.

We want to try and contact all clubs shortly for a quick catch up and offer any assistance where we can.

The situation relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) is fast-moving and so our primary advice to affiliated clubs, competitions and members is to follow the relevant guidance from the Government – available here:

We have also developed a number of specific updates for our members below:

Advice for Affiliated Clubs:

We would like to remind clubs that following the measures announced by the Government on 24 March, British Judo strongly advises that all Affiliated Clubs should now be closed to all club-based activity and should not reopen until further notice. This advice will be reviewed, on an ongoing basis, in line with Government guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How will British Judo support clubs during this period?

Our Club team is still available via the usual channels. Any clubs who require help or support during this difficult period can contact their Development Officer in the first instance.

If you have any enquiries regarding Club Affiliation, please contact Sarah Walker at sarah.walker@britishjudo.org.uk

How can we help support our members during this time?

We are working to provide content (workouts, ideas to keep you busy etc) and ideas to help you maintain a good level of fitness and activity away from the dojo and at home to keep a connection with your/our members. Keep an eye out on our social media channels each day for new content that we post.

We’re concerned about the financial impact of closing our club for an unknown period?

We are very aware that closing for this extended period could cause financial concerns for some clubs. As the situation becomes clearer, we will be working to signpost any funding or advice which could help your club.  In the meantime, if this applies to your club, please contact clubs@britishjudo.org.uk to let us know.

Is there anyone I can speak to about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?

Dave Edmonds of Edmonds Accountancy has kindly agreed to provide clubs with Pro Bono support in relation to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and you can contact him at admin@edmonds-accountancy.co.uk

Advice for Judo Clubs & Businesses:

On Friday 20th March 2020, the government announced a package of measures to assist businesses.

One of the measures allows all UK employees to access financial support to continue trading and to assist with those employees who would have otherwise been laid off or made redundant.  The support is available to all limited companies, sole traders, charities etc at the moment for March – May.  If as an employer you cannot cover staff costs due to COVID-19, to avoid layoffs/redundancies, you may be able to access support to continue paying a large part of your employees’ salaries.

If your business wishes to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you can discuss with your employees about becoming classified as a furloughed worker. This would mean that employees are kept on your payroll, rather than being laid off or made redundant.

To qualify for this scheme, employees must not undertake work for the employer whilst being furloughed. This will allow your business to claim a grant of up to 80% of each selected employees’ wage for all employment costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.  The payment is said to cover all employees employment costs.

Employees will remain employed while furloughed and all terms and conditions will continue. You can choose to fund the difference between this government funded payment and actual salaries, but you do not have to.  Where you do not top up the salary to 100%, this needs to be notified and agreed with the employee.

Process

To access the scheme, you will need to:

  1. Select and designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify them employees of this change – changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation. Where it is not stated in the contract, you need an employee’s agreement.

Very few would challenge this arrangement I would have thought!

This means that you need to agree this arrangement with each individual who is identified as a ‘furloughed worker’.  It is inevitable that most employees will accept it as an alternative to redundancy, as in most cases businesses will not be able to afford to pay the redundancy.

  1. Once agreed they will need to be notified in writing of the change and they shall receive 80% of their earnings (or 100% if the employee is able to top up the payment).
  1. Once designated employees have been agreed submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required) which is yet to be set up.
  1. Payment is made up front by the employer and reclaimed through the portal. Timescales for reimbursement have yet to be announced.

SSP – Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees

The government also announced that it will bring forward legislation to allow small-and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:

  • this refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19
  • employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible – the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020
  • employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19
  • employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website

Dave Edmonds of Edmonds Accountancy has kindly agreed to provide clubs with Pro Bono support in relation to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and you can contact him at admin@edmonds-accountancy.co.uk  This is a great example of the judo family pulling together to help each other in times of need.

How is British Judo responding to the coronavirus situation?

Events

To date, we have cancelled or postponed all British Judo events until 30 April at the earliest. We will continue to review this on an ongoing basis. Our Coaching courses have also been cancelled until the end of June.

Coach Revalidations/Safeguarding/Time To Listen Courses

For each member who has an expiry date for the above courses between now and the end of June, we will add a three-month extension onto your expiry date to allow you additional time to book onto a relevant course once they are running again.

Office Closure

We have closed the Head Office in Great Barr and asked all our staff to work from home as of Friday 20th March following a successful test period.

This will remain in force until at least 3 April and will be reviewed regularly throughout this time and we will provide updates as required.

Most of our staff are accustomed to working from home and all our systems are set up to allow us to do this with the minimum disruption. There will inevitably be a few teething problems and so we appreciate your patience in these unprecedented times.

One change we will be making is that we will be closing our usual phone lines until the office reopens. Please direct general enquiries to bja@britishjudo.org.uk but if you know who you need to contact, please see below:

Sarah Walker – Dan Grading, Gradings, Coaching, Clubs and General Membership Enquiries – 07788 390 623 – sarah.walker@britishjudo.org.uk

Kelly Macey – Destination@BritishJudo, Officials, Coaching and General Membership Enquiries – 07854 244 343 – kelly.macey@britishjudo.org.uk

Ben Pollard – Marketing, Communications, The Dojo and JudoStore – 07484 052 811 – ben.pollard@britishjudo.org.uk

Jessica Hastings – Events – 07483 342 046 – jessica.hastings@britishjudo.org.uk 

Marina Dain – Safeguarding – 07484 905079 – marina.dain@britishjudo.org.uk

Centre of Excellence

Following Government guidelines, we made the decision to close the British Judo Centre of Excellence on 18th March with immediate effect. This decision has been made in the best interest for the safety and health of all athletes, staff and the extended families, both within and outside of the Judo Community.

All World Class Performance Programme (WCPP) staff will work from home and the programme will remain fully operational during this closure period with daily PLT meetings to review the COVID-19 ever evolving situation, alongside weekly Coaching and staff meetings to ensure that the athletes continue to receive the best support possible as they train in their home environments.