COVID-19: Have PEOs Stepped Up to the Plate?

COVID-19 PEO ResourcesIt’s a tough time for small business owners, and we know you have a lot of questions. If you already work with a PEO, you have a partner who will help you care for your people and understand new legislative guidelines for your business. If you don't, now is a great time to think about it.

We know it might seem like an unstable time to make a decision like choosing a PEO, but we've seen an avalanche of incredible resources and support for small business owners from PEOs across the industry. From offering free telemedicine to customers and employees to creating new technology tools that help business owners apply for an SBA loan, PEOs are helping small business survive the chaos.

Here are five things PEOs are doing right now to help their clients through the crisis conditions of COVID-19. 

1. Caring for Employees

PEOs have stepped up to the plate with resources to help clients care for their employees as normally as possible. You may be facing difficult decisions about keeping employees on the payroll, understanding paid leave and sick leave policies, and helping employees with unemployment benefits. A PEO can help you take care of these things with as little disruption as possible. 

2. Assistance with Funding Questions 

If you have questions about the Paycheck Protection Program, small business loans, or other funding resources, a PEO can help you find answers. As your co-employment partner, they can help you understand complicated and comprehensive forms, compliance guidelines, and submission requirements. 

3. Answers to Insurance Questions 

Many of your employees may have questions about how COVID-19 will affect their access to insurance, what is covered, and what they should do if they are furloughed or laid off. A PEO can help you answer critical insurance questions like these:

  • Does my health insurance pay for COVID-19 testing? 
  • How can I help my employees who do not have health insurance?
  • Can HSA funds be applied to COVID-19 testing and/or treatment?
  • If an employee contracts COVID-19 at work, is that a workers' compensation issue?

4. Technology Platform Support

PEOs provide comprehensive technology platforms that will help you manage your HR data, give employees access to benefits and insurance information, and support your employees more efficiently. The right technology platform will make it easier to:

  • Calculate tax credits and payroll data in light of new federal assistance programs
  • Manage family leave and paid sick leave with regard to the FFCRA
  • Manage remote workers using mobile apps and remote time tracking tools
  • Implement a virtual onboarding and training program

5. Extensive COVID-19 Resources 

Most PEOs have compiled extensive resources to help you understand legislative impacts, access federal funds, and make decisions about next steps with relation to COVID-19. These include webinars, guides, resource pages, and case-by-case assistance to help you make the best decisions for your business.

Here are just a few of the things we found PEOs doing to support their clients: 

  • ADP – Offering a Workplace Spotlight Series on a very wide range of topics related to COVID-19. The live webinars are eligible for one HRCI, SHRM, and CPE credit and are also available on demand if you miss the live version.

  • Oasis, a Paychex® Company - Updated technology platform in light of the CARES Act to provide businesses with a simple, consolidated report to assist with applying for an SBA loan. They have also created a Covid-19 Interactive Tool designed to help employers better understand the new government funding and are offering clients access to FinFit which includes a comprehensive suite of essential tools and resources to help improve individual financial health and well-being.  

  • XcelHR – Offering a Daily Response Talk Monday - Friday at 3:00 p.m. EST to learn about the latest developments on Covid-19 and how you may be affected by federal & state mandates. There is also a Q&A session available. 

  • GMS (Group Management Services) – Has a nice FAQs page and is offering webinars to all prospects to help them navigate things like the H.R. 6201 Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Stimulus package, PPP, and EIDL. They are also calling clients individually to discuss services, tax or legal, and go over any specific questions they may have.

  • Vensure – Offering their clients and employees free telemedicine services by MDLIVE for the next 90 days. Using this tool, these 300,000 recipients and their families will be able to speak with a licensed medical professional virtually. Vensure has also compiled a COVID-19 support center that includes all of the CDC fact sheets and other resources.  

  • FrankCrum - Offering case-by-case assistance to clients and brokers to answer questions about new legislation and guidelines, including the Paycheck Protection Program, FFCRA, I-9 requirements and e-verify. They are also maintaining a Coronavirus Updates page that includes communications that have been sent to clients, webinars, and additional resources. 

  • Justworks – Creating many of their own resources including their excellent Field Guide for Navigating COVID-19, which they’ll continue updating as new information becomes available.

You can also find answers to many of your questions through NAPEO, the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations:

  • PEO PPP Explanation Letter - Small businesses can dowload and include with their SBA loan application. The letter explains that according to case law, statutory regulations, and statements made by the Small Business Administration (SBA), partnering with a PEO does not have any negative influence on your eligibility for a CARES Act Loan.

  • COVID-19 Resource Center - Includes information, downloads, and resources on FFCRA, PPP Loans, CARES Act, SBA Disaster Loans, and state-specific updates. 

Looking for information about FFCRA, EPSLA, and EFMLEA? Download our free guide: What New COVID-19 Legislation Means for Your Small Business 


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