What our members are doing

 

AGL
  • On Friday 27 March AGL announced their COVID-19 Customer Support Program
    • This program will provide direct relief to AGL residential and small and medium business customers who aren’t able to pay their bill because they have lost their job or business, or their health has been impacted.
  • AGL’s COVID19 Customer Support Program will include:
    • Fast-tracked access to a program allowing deferred payments until 31 July 2020.
    • Customers will have access to a payment plan that allows them to pay in instalments.
    • No disconnections during the deferred payment period.
    • Waiving disconnection and reconnection fees for small businesses that have been forced to temporarily close.
    • Maintaining AGL’s existing priority service to customers on life support.
  • These measures were in addition to AGL’s previously established hardship programs most recently used to provide relief during the summer bushfires.
  • AGL recognises its role as an essential service provider to millions of Australian homes and businesses, especially during these unfamiliar times.
  • Their priority is the wellbeing of their customers and team members, and to encourage people to follow the guidance of the Australian Health Department.
  • Allens has implemented safeguards that meet official Australian Government COVID-19 guidelines and taken additional steps aimed at minimising the potential impact.
  • To support the health and wellbeing of their people, clients and the community around us, all staff are now working remotely across all Australian offices.
  • While they are working remotely, it will be business-as-usual in terms of our client service. They are well-prepared for remote working and are providing the support our people need to continue working with each other and their clients.
  • Amcor plants continue to operate thanks to the dedication of thousands of Amcor colleagues around the world. They are taking a host of precautions to protect colleagues, customers, and business partners.
  • Amcor has thorough business continuity plans across plants and raw material supply chains to manage risk and maintain productivity, while keeping people safe.
  • Amcor will continue to adapt their response to protect health and safety, and maintain service to customers, globally.
ANZ
  • ANZ announced they will be adding an extra 500 staff to their Hardship team to help process support requests (including loan payments) faster.
  • On 20 March ANZ announced a support package for small business and home loan customers, which has the potential to inject $6 billion into the Australian economy and assist in the recovery from the current COVID-19 crisis.
  • For small and medium business customers, this means:
    • A decrease in variable interest small business loan rates in Australia by 0.25 per cent per annum, effective from 27 March (resulting in a 0.50 per cent per annum reduction since last week)
    • All impacted customers can request a six-month payment deferral on loan repayments for term loans, with interest capitalised
    • Making available temporary increases in overdraft facilities for 12 months
    • A new two and three-year fixed rate of 2.59 per cent per annum for secured small business loans up to $1 million effective 3 April (a reduction of 0.80 per cent per annum).
  • For home loan customers, this means:
    • A decrease in variable interest home loan rates in Australia by 0.15 per cent per annum across all variable rate indices, effective from 27 March
    • Introduction of a two-year fixed rate of 2.19 per cent per annum for Owner Occupiers paying Principal & Interest - their lowest fixed-rate home loan on-record
    • The ability to request a deferral of home loan repayments for up to six-months, with a review at three-months, with interest capitalised.
  • ANZ has pledged a total of $1.5 million between the Brotherhood of St Laurance, The Smith Family and the Financial Counselling Foundation to support the financial wellbeing of vulnerable Australians. The organisations will use the funds for education, employment, aged care and financial counselling programs targets at disadvantaged people further affected by COVID-19.
  • Measures have been introduced to ensure safety of employees and customers and ensure banking services can continue as far as practical, including restrictions around travel, large group gatherings and non-authorised visitors to office buildings.
  • Aon’s Infectious Disease Response Task Force has established a resource site to support organisations in mounting effective infectious disease (pandemic) response.
  • APA’s operations are an essential service to their customers and the people of Australia. Their critical facilities and essential field sties will remain operational.
  • APA says their staff will work remotely wherever possible. Offices and field depots will remain open for essential activities only, such as their Integrated Operations Centre.
  • A dedicated Crisis Management Team will continue to monitor the situation and lead APA’s response.
  • On 31 March, ASX has released a Compliance Update that provides regulatory relief and updated guidance to support listed companies and investors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The package includes:
    • Practical guidance on disclosure obligations, including earnings guidance and decisions not to pay a dividend or distribution
    • Temporary emergency capital raising measures to help facilitate capital raisings in the short-term (until 31 July 2020), including an uplift in placement capacity subject to a follow-on accelerated pro rata entitlement offer or SPP offer to retail investors (to help meet the expectation to treat all shareholders fairly) 
    • Action on misleading COVID-19 announcements, including suspension and censure
    • Reporting deadline relief on a case-by-case basis for listed entities with a 30 September, 31 December or 31 March balance date (those with a 31 May or 30 June balance date will be reviewed in due course)
    • Support for ASIC’s ‘no action’ position on upcoming AGMs
    • Reporting relief for ASX/NZX dual-listed entities to facilitate the operation of the class waiver announced by the New Zealand Financial Markets Authority
    • Reminder about the requirement for market announcements to be given to ASX for release to the market first.
  • ASX confirms normal market operations after a positive case of COVID-19 and has asked employees to work from home until further notice. The only exceptions are a core group of employees, identified as part of our BCP, who will remain on ASX sites to manage ongoing market functions, mainly in technology, operations and surveillance areas.
  • In February 2020, ATCO activated its Pandemic Response Plan. To ensure the health of employees and to sustain operations through the pandemic, they have implemented several enhanced protocols, including travel restrictions; enhanced workplace hygiene practices; limiting visitor and public access to facilities.
  • Ausgrid is party to the Energy Network Relief package, which offers support to eligible small business and residential customers across Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia.
  • Relief measures for customers under the package include:
    • Network charges will be rebated for small business customers experiencing financial stress and who are mothballing as a result of COVID-19.
    • For small retailers, network charges will be rebated for residential customers that go into default as a result of COVID-19.
    • Network charges will be deferred for residential customers of large retailers who go on payment plans or hardship arrangements put in place as a result of COVID-19.
    • They will support retailers in not disconnecting any residential or small business customers who may be in financial stress, without their agreement, before 31 July 2020 and potentially beyond.
    • They will support retailers in not disconnecting any large business customer, without their agreement, before 31 July 2020, and potentially beyond, if that customer is on-selling energy to residential or small business customers (for example, in residential parks or retirement villages).
  • Ausgrid has implemented a number of practice changes to the way they operate including limiting face-to-face interactions, strict isolation protocols in accordance with the Government’s requirements, additional cleaning of their sites and workplaces, additional personal protective equipment for staff, telephone contact with customers before crews arrive, phone notification of future outages, rather than face-to-face.
  • Ausgrid is finalising a range of contingency plans to be as response as they can as significant shifts in demand for power supply occur which includes a strong focus on completing urgent tasks on their network to ensure it is as resilient as possible in the event of weather or other events.
  • Australian Unity has introduced a number of measures across their company to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on its members, customers, employees and the communities in which they live and work.

Banking

  • Australian Unity has developed a range of financial assistance options which may include:
    • The ability to temporarily pause repayments of loans, including credit cards
    • Temporary interest rate relief on lending for customers experiencing financial distress
    • Temporary emergency limit increase for overdraft facility customers
    • Early access to term deposits without incurring any fees.

Dental

  • Australian Unity has made the decision to redirect their attention to emergency and urgent dental treatments only following advice from the state and federal governments.
  • For visitors to their dental centre a number of extra precautionary measures have been introduced including very high standards of hand hygiene, reducing the number of appointments and employees at each clinic, additional time allowed between appointments to better enable social distancing, hand sanitiser stations and cleaning of treatment rooms after each patient.

Retirement communities

  • Australian Unity says a lot of work is being done across their retirement communities to ensure all necessary precautions are being taken and putting plans in place to maintain everyone’s wellbeing. Some changes include cancellation of large inter-community social events, access for Australian Unity corporate employees and contractors has been minimised, closure of a number of communal areas.

Aged care residents

  • Australian Unity has announced a restriction on all visitors from entering their Aged Care sites unless they have a direct connection to essential service delivery. These restrictions will commence at 8pm Monday 23 March and reviewed in two weeks’ time. Exceptions may be made for loved ones with special needs (i.e. complex dementia) and those who are palliating.

Home care services

  • Additional training for personal protective equipment, infection control and hand hygiene for all customer-facing staff.
  • Securing additional equipment, including fast distribution throughout their branch network.
  • Bechtel is donating critical supplies to local hospitals and first responders in several areas near our active projects. Bechtel is looking for additional ways to help those who are on the front lines in this fight in the weeks ahead.
  • On March 30, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank announced any eligible business customer with facilities up to $10 million can defer repayments of their business loans for six months, with interest capitalised into these existing loans. For business customers with facilities over $10 million, relief will continue to be considered on a case by case basis.
  • Business customers who operate as Commercial Property landlords will be required to provide assurance to the Bank they will not take any action against their tenants for the non-payment of rent for the period of their payment relief.
  • Bendigo Bank has cut its variable and fixed business loans to help support business customers in a challenging time for the sector and the economy.
  • Other announced support includes:
    • Business loan variable reference rate cuts of 1.00% p.a. for residentially secured business loans and 0.75% p.a. for non-residential and unsecured.
    • Small business fixed rate cuts up to 0.82% p.a. depending on the term and security of the loan.
    • Business variable and overdraft rate cuts of 0.25% p.a. announced in early March
    • The waiver of fees for the restructuring or consolidation of loans
    • The waiver of interest rate reductions for early withdrawals on term deposits prior to maturity
    • The waiver or deferral of a range of fees and charges
    • The $40 billion SME Guarantee Scheme, to help small business access working capital to assist with the impact of COVID-19.
    • The Bank’s financial assistance package for all affected businesses
    • The Small Business Relief Package which allows eligible businesses to defer principal and interest repayments for six months
    • The recently announced $40 billion SME Guarantee Scheme, which we are currently working with industry and Government on, to help small business access working capital to assist with the impact of COVID-19.
  • For personal customers, Bendigo has introduced a variety of support measures, including:
    • Reducing its one, two and three-year fixed rates for all owner-occupier and investor home loans by up to 70 basis points.
    • Allowing residential mortgage customers financially affected by COVID-19 to apply for six months relief on their loans.
    • Bendigo Bank will also be increasing select term deposit rates to provide customers with an attractive investment option in this historically low interest rate environment.
  • Their agribusiness specialist, Rural Bank is also providing a range of assistance measures to work with impacted farming customers to understand their individual circumstances and apply the most effective means of support. This is in addition to existing support provided to those recovering from prolonged drought and bushfires.
BHP

BHP have introduced a number of key initiatives and measures in response to COVID-19, including:

Workforce

  • Social distancing, or physical distancing, requirements are in place at all BHP locations and stipulate individuals should remain an appropriate distance apart as per health and safety guidelines. This applies to sites, camps and offices, and is being worked through for transport.
  • Increased cleaning at all sites and offices, plus regular testing of workplace cleanliness and hygiene standards.
  • Clear and regular communication about the strict hygiene protocols in place at all operational sites and offices. This includes handwashing, sanitation, food and drinks.
  • BHP has banned international business travel globally and domestic and international commuting continues in a limited manner in line with country-specific advice.
  • Protocols such as flexible rostering have been introduced to support workforce requirements.
  • Temperature checks and three-question surveys before boarding BHP operated planes and buses, to assess individuals’ health.
  • Resources to support mental health and resilience, including if working from home.
  • At any time, employees, contractors and their families can access BHP’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
  • BHP has also created a $6 million fund to support its labour hire companies and their employees. The fund will be used for one-off payments for people quarantined after entering Australia and pay for labour hire employees not entitled to sick leave but affected by COVID-19.
  • BHP has implemented a range of mental wellbeing initiatives across the company to adapt to the changing environment and ensure the health and safety of their workforce is supported.
  • BHP’s Newman East Shutdown team has introduced a new 15 minute ‘Family Connection’ routine for personnel to call home and check in on loved ones during their shifts.

 Community

  • Established a $50 million (AUD) Vital Resources Fund to help regional Australian communities in BHP’s areas of operation through support for health and community services, mental health and resilience, Indigenous communities and job seekers.
  • Accelerated payments to small, local and Indigenous suppliers in Australia to deliver $100 million (AUD) more quickly to those businesses. In addition, small business payment terms have been reduced to seven days (from 30 days).
  • BHP will hire an additional 1,500 people to support its workforce operating across Australia. The roles will be offered as six-month contracts to cover a range of skills.
  • Using BHP supply chain to supply food supplies to childcare centres, school canteens and not for profit organisations.
  • BHP has donated $2 million (AUD) to the Royal Flying Doctor Service in WA to support regional health. This adds to donations from others in industry.
  • In WA, working with hospitals and ambulance services to replenish medical supplies including masks, gowns and gloves.
  • Supporting local Aboriginal organisations and services to assist people to return to remote communities. BHP will continue to work with those communities and government to ensure people have what they need to stay in communities.
  • BHP has postponed all face-to-face engagements with Traditional Owner groups until further notice to minimise the risk of COVID-19 exposure to Indigenous communities.
  • BlueScope has put in strict protocols in place to protect their employees and contractors which are being reviewed by their health and leadership teams on a daily basis.
  • For critical plants like the Port Kembla Steelworks, access has been restricted, people are working from home and instigated health/temperature checks for employees entering the premises.
  • Boeing has donated 100L of Isopropyl Alcohol from their Melbourne factory to Peninsula Health to make hospital-grade sanitiser to help fight the spread of COVID-19.
  • Boral are continuing to take measures to help manage the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus including strict hygiene, social distancing and quarantine protocols.
  • Boral has a dedicated internal COVID-19 management team who are responding to emerging government restrictions, mandates and guidelines.
  • At this point in time, construction is considered an essential industry in Australia so they continue to work safely to supply the market.
  • Brisbane’s new runway remains on track for completion later this year but the community day and runway fun run planned for June has been cancelled given current health advice.
  • Brisbane Airport Corporation’s CEO Get-Jan de Graaff said “Importantly, we know that this pandemic will end and when it does, Brisbane’s new runway will be essential to the recovery of so many industries. We will be here when this is over to once again connect people across the country and world and play our part in helping restore the economic health of our city and state.”
  • BP Australia’s liquid fuel supply chain continues to operate as normal and all sites – including retail sites, terminals and the refinery – remain operational.
  • BP has introduced a number of additional safety measures at all company-operated retail sites:
    • Increasing sanitising procedures in store and on the forecourt, ensuring employees are washing their hands regularly, and wiping fuel pumps and dispenser handles with disinfectant.
    • Encouraging the use of contactless payment
    • Closing in-store seating areas
  • On 30 March BP announced they are offering health care workers free small coffees or bottled water from their Wild Bean Cafes.
  • On March 29, Bupa announced they would delay the annual 1 April premium increase for all customers for six months.
  • As of Saturday 28 March, Bupa as restricted all visits to Bupa aged care homes due to the growing risk of COVID-19 infection from people entering their facilities.
    • To help residents and their loved ones through this period they’ve set up an initiative, Visits by Mail, and will continue to develop new ideas that support their wellbeing.
    • Compassionate exceptions for visits to residents will continue for those who are receiving palliative care.
  • On March 26, Bupa announced it will provide more than $50 million in assistance for customers suffering financial hardship due to COVID-19.
    • Customers who have received the Commonwealth coronavirus supplement or are sole traders can apply through their website.
    • Assistance provided will vary based on individual circumstances.
  • Bupa also confirmed that all customers with a hospital policy would be covered for COVID-19 related claims, irrespective of the terms of that policy.
  • Customers will be able to claim psychology, counselling, speech pathology, physiotherapy, occupation therapy and dietetic services delivered through telephone or video consultations, subject to their policy.
  • Introduced additional special leave provisions for full-time, part-time and casual employees to access up to two weeks’ of COVID-19 paid discretionary leave, depending on their individual circumstances.
  • Caltex will continue to follow the advice of relevant government departments to minimise the spread of COVID-19.
  • They have undertaken the following matters:
    • - Increased frequency of cleaning and sanitisation of their stores
    • Providing customers with clean and sanitised hand washing facilities where possible
    • Suspended the use of reusable coffee cups and in-store sampling
    • Serving food products in individual original packaging where possible.
  • More broadly, they have plans in place to ensure they can continue to reliably supply fuel and deliver every day needs to their customers.
  • Chevron Australia has announced a combined combination of $2 million to assist community members and local businesses impacted by the current COVID-19 health crisis in Western Australia.
    • As the operator of the Wheatstone natural gas facility, located near the town of Onslow in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, Chevron Australia has launched the AUD$1 million Chevron Onslow Relief Fund – providing financial support and critical health services to Onslow residents, Aboriginal communities, local businesses and the unemployed.
    • Chevron Australia has also pledged an additional AUD$1 million to essential service providers the Australian Royal Flying Doctor Service, Foodbank WA and Lifeline WA through a collaborative industry effort led by The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA.
  • CEO Chuck Robbins has written an open letter to customers, partners and governments around the world offering their support and assistance to enable business continuity. Including the latest commitment of $225m global response.
  • They have established a global website with a range of resources, including a CISCO Webex kids colouring pack for children who are staying at home.
  • Offering free access to a number of their security, collaboration and data centre products to existing customers and new customers to enable them to achieve business continuity all available at the one site https://www.cisco.com/c/m/en_us/covid19.html
  • CISCO has a key focus on supporting the healthcare sector who are flexing out to create additional capacity, as well as the education sector to support virtual learning and remote working for students, staff and administrators.
  • They have permanently opened support cases for all essential and emergency services customers to enable their business continuity plans and ensure vital technology and communications infrastructure are operational.
  • They have also built out additional infrastructure to support the surge in remote, secure connectivity and collaboration as a result of offering their products for free and the flexing out of additional capacity for government agencies.
  • Citi Australia has financial hardship options based on individual circumstances that include varying levels of payments and frequency of payments.
  • The Citi Foundation announced it will provide $15 million to support COVID-19 related relief activities globally. This includes $5 million which will be directed to country-specific efforts in places that are severely impacted and $5 million to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund which was established by the UN Foundation and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation to rapidly detect cases, stop transmission of the virus and caring for those affected.
  • Clayton Utz has established crisis management teams and alternate crisis management teams. The firm also has a pandemic policy and critical incident protocol for influenza, and have set up an intranet site for employees so they can access up-to-date, accurate and relevant information on COVID-19.
  • From Monday 16 March all partners and employees have been encouraged to work remotely to reduce the number of people on-site in their offices.
  • Clayton Utz has also suspended all international travel, cancelled all client events and events they were due to host in their offices and asked partners and employees to consider convening meeting by telephone or VC.
  • Coca-Cola Amatil has established a free 24-hour customer support and counselling service to support customers who are struggling with the unprecedented impact of COVID-19. The Coca-Cola Amatil Customer Support Line is run by Assure, a trusted Amatil partner. The 24/7 support service offers confidential counselling and financial coaching and is available to all Amatil customers completely free of charge, in the strictest confidence.
  • They have set up a work from anywhere guide for team members. Click here to view.
  • Working closely with suppliers, brand and service partners, Coca-Cola Amatil has a comprehensive approach already in place to ensure we continue to keep our people healthy and safe, keep producing world-class beverages and keep serving the needs of our customers.
  • All office-based roles in Australia are now working flexibly from home. A 'work from anywhere' guide has been created to assist employees working outside of the office, as well as other practical tools and resources for Managers and Employees to support them working productively during this period. 
  • To ensure we continue to service our customers and keep people safe, further precautionary measures include additional procedures and restrictions for all site visitors, additional hygiene and sanitisation routines in all facilities, altered work processes and shift routines to minimise risk and meet demand, contingency build measures for key products, and enacting plans with third-party transport providers to protect service capability.
  • You can view Coca-Cola Amatil’s full response here.
  • On 28 March, Coles announced that it would be offering 5000 new jobs, on top of the 7000 workers it had recruited over the past fortnight. This latest recruitment drive will bring the company’s total number of new employees to 12,000, all hired over a few short weeks.
  • On 27 March, Coles announced its new Coles Online Priority Service for customers who are unable to easily access a Coles Supermarket. This service will allow these customers to purchase their essential items online and have them delivered to their home.
  • On 24 March, Coles announced they would be extending their Community Hour from 7am – 8am to emergency service workers, healthcare workers, the elderly and people living with a disability on different days.
  • On 22 March, Coles announced they will be donating additional food and household goods to the retail value of $1 million every week to their charity partners SecondBite and Foodbank to assist Australia’s most vulnerable communities during this time. This additional support will help boost their ongoing food donation program.
  • Coles Online is one of the world’s best and largest home delivery services and has been temporarily diverted to the Coles Online Priority Service (COPS), allowing Coles to focus on delivering food and grocery essentials to elderly and vulnerable members of the community, including retirement and nursing homes.
  • On 18 March, Coles issued a joint online statement with Aldi, IGA, Woolworths, to reassure the public that they are doing everything possible to get as many products onto all shelves as they can, often under very difficult circumstances.
  • Coles has affirmed that supermarkets will not close (even in the context of a lockdown). Current stock shortages are a demand issue, not a supply issue, but they need time to get stock to the shelf.
  • Coles are employing an additional 5,000 workers. The government has allowed student VISA working hours to be extended so they can work more hours and shifts.
  • CBA has launched a mass communication campaign to help customers access the support and information they need. This new campaign, centred on a detailed Financial Guide for Customers, aims to provide clear, concise, consistent and reliable information to help customers navigate the large volume of recent announcements, as they try to comprehend what support they are eligible for and how to access it quickly.
  • CBA is receiving thousands of calls a day from customers looking to request a deferral in their mortgage, personal loan or credit card repayments, and are looking to hire 500 additional staff to work through the backlog.
  • CBA is offering a range of support for personal customers, including:
    • Reducing their one, two and three year fixed-rate home loans by 70 basis points to 2.29 per cent as part of efforts to help spur on the economy. 
    • Providing home loan customers requesting financial assistances to defer their mortgage payments, with interest capitalised, for six months.
    • Payments to support customers who have been granted a six-month deferral to offset interest on interest costs during the six month deferral period.
    • Any customer that missed their credit card minimum repayment in March, we will automatically be refunding their late fees and interest for the month of March.
  • For businesses, support includes:
    • Automatically deferring principal and interest repayments for loans to eligible small business customers with total lending limits with CBA up to $5 million.
    • Eligible business customers with total lending limits between $5-10 million can choose to defer principal and interest repayments for up to six months.
    • Offering an unsecured loan of up to $250,000 with no establishment or account fees, and no repayments required for 3 - 6 months for businesses with less than $50 million annual turnover.
    • Automatically waiving merchant fees for three months for 70,000 small business customers.
    • Reducing interest rates on small business loans by 1 per cent.
  • As of Monday 6 April 2020, $150 million in loans had been approved for more than 1,850 businesses across Australia. The loans are all part of the Australian Government’s Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme announced on 22 March 2020 as a measure to help small and medium businesses get fast access to working capital during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • CBA has also increased interest on 12-month deposits by 60 basis points to 1.7 per cent.
  • The bank cited a range of measures including "deferring repayments on a variety of business loans" including vehicle and equipment finance alongside "fee waivers for a period of 90 days" that will assist in planning for the challenging months ahead.
  • CBA is offering customers various options to continue banking, including:
    • Keeping 900 branches open for business
    • Customers can access accounts 24 hours a day, where they can do most of their everyday banking
    • Staff are available to help our customers who are unfamiliar with digital banking.
  • EnergyAustralia supports its customers in financial stress through their EnergyAssist hardship program. Assistance includes tailored payment plans, providing advice on grant programs and advice on energy usage.
  • All EnergyAssist customers remain connected to the energy system and will not be disconnected.
  • Energy Australia has introduced a number of measures around how they are operating including restricting access to their sites by visitors, working from home where possible and default usage of phone or video conferencing facilities.
  • Facebook is supporting the global public health community’s work to keep people safe and informed during the COVID-19 crisis. An overview of the global assistance they’re providing includes:
    • Connecting people to credible information across their platforms – Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.
    • Combating COVID-19 misinformation across their apps.
    • Investing US$100 million in the news industry and supporting fact-checkers.
    • Prohibiting exploitative tactics in ads and banning ads for medical face masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and COVID-19 test kits.
    • Matching US$20 million in donations to support COVID-19 relief efforts and donating US$25 million to support healthcare workers on the front line.
    • Investing US$100 million in small businesses.
    • Supporting global health organisations with free ads.
    • Making it easier for people to request or offer help in their communities.
    • Helping local government and emergency health organisations reach people on Facebook and Messenger.
  • A full list of measures and further detail on the above list can be found here.
  • On 27 March, Fortescue Metals Group announced a temporary change to their operational site rosters from a two-week/one-week roster to a four-week/two-week roster. This change, taking effect progressively from Monday 30 March 2020 will reduce people movement on and off their sites by around 40 per cent. The following additional measures are also in place for team members at operational sites:
    • Additional charter flights and bus services to ensure appropriate distances are maintained between team members
    • Introduction of airport temperature and health testing at the Perth Domestic Airport
    • Changes to breakfast, dinner and crib services to reduce handling of food and service utensils
    • Enforcing strict hygiene and physical distancing measures across all their village services.
  • Other support measures include:
    • A dedicated COVID-19 intranet page for employees and extranet page for contractors
    • All members based in their Perth offices are now required to work from home.
  • FMG is supporting their suppliers by extending 14-day payment terms to all small businesses and is working collaboratively with its suppliers to address any cashflow changes.
  • FMG and the Minderoo Foundation will commit up to $160 million to procure and distribute medical supplies from China and ramp up testing.
  • FMG will donate A$1 million to the Royal Flying Doctor Service Western Operations to help boost the organisation’s frontline services during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Fortescue’s Community Grants program has been extended until 17 April to allow for organisations and projects in the Pilbara impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19 to apply.
  • All FMG sites and offices across the world are carefully monitoring the impact of COVID-19. They have action plans in place at all sites and offices, which will be activated if required.
  • GE Healthcare, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of medical technology and equipment, is adding production lines, hiring workers and expanding output to help arm hospitals and medical professionals with the equipment they need to diagnose and care for patients suffering from COVD-19.
  • GE Healthcare is helping scientists from the University of Sydney to roll out a diagnostic tool that doctors can use to spot COVID-19 in CT scans of patients’ lungs.
  • Gilbert + Tobin has established a knowledge hub collating important articles and legal advice on various aspects of COVID-19.
  • Staff have been encouraged to work remotely since 16 March 2020 and suspended work-related travel.
  • Google is committing $50 million to the global COVID-19 response.
  • Google Australia has launched a new Google for Small Business online hub to provide helpful resources to small and medium businesses as they navigate these challenging times.
  • They have also created new distance learning resources, including a collection of training materials, helpful apps and a Learn@Home YouTube resource designed for families.
  • In addition, they have made their Premium Meet feature free for schools through to 1 July 2020, allowing them to have up to 250 people in a call together, record lessons and live stream.
  • Google will also begin rolling out free access to their advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities to all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers globally.
  • Hanson’s priority is to safeguard the health and safety of its people, their families, everyone they do business with and the wider community.  They are committed to minimising the spread of COVID-19, whilst minimising the impact of COVID-19 to the businesses they serve.
  • At this point, all their operational sites are currently active with teams practising appropriate hygiene and adhering to social distancing rules, as they continue to operate as usual for customers.
  • A large proportion of their staff are working remotely, managing productivity, effectively collaborating with their teams as well as communicating regularly with customers through their secure systems.
  • HSBC Australia has outlined a number of measures to help customers who are experiencing disruption to their financial affairs as a result of COVID-19. These measures include:
    • A 0.50% reduction in one, two and three-year fixed-rate home loans for owner-occupiers paying principal and interest. The new fixed rates of 2.25% p.a. for each of these periods will be available from Monday 30 March. Standard fees will be waived for existing home loan customers who wish to switch from a standard variable rate to a fixed-rate product.
    • Standard variable rates across HSBC home loan products will be maintained at existing levels. HSBC’s headline Home Value home loan is among the lowest in the market at 2.65% p.a.
    • A new 12-month personal AUD term deposit rate of 1.70% p.a. will be available to both new and existing eligible customers from 30 March.
    • The potential to defer home loan, personal loan and credit card repayments by up to six months.
    • Personal banking customers may apply for a temporary credit limit increase on their HSBC credit cards if needed.
    • The standard interest rate reduction and $30 administration fee will be waived if retail customers negatively affected by current circumstances need to access a term deposit prior to maturity.
  • IBM will make its Watson artificial intelligence software available for free, so government agencies, businesses, universities and healthcare institutions can use intelligent bots to answer citizens' queries about the unfolding COVID-19 crisis.The software will be available for free for at least 90 days, meaning organisations can use it to create chatbots to alleviate demand and waiting times on customer service phone numbers.
  • IBM is marshalling their resources and bringing together the right communities of experts — clients, governments, scientists, developers, partners, academic institutions, health agencies and IBMers — to work together, and manage through the COVID-19 outbreak with what we do best — applying data, knowledge, computing power and insights to solve difficult problems.
  • Incitec Pivot Fertilisers (IPF) is working hard to deliver its essential products and services to farmers during the Coronavirus outbreak so that farmers can plant crops and help feed Australians.
  • In response to Coronavirus, IPF has developed processes and action plans to ensure continuity of supply. As part of these plans, each of their sites has restricted face-to-face interactions with their carriers and transport partners as much as possible to limit the potential for the virus to spread. They have made changes at their distribution centres so that customers can drive their trucks in and load their fertiliser without having any physical contact with staff.
  • The primary objectives of Infosys’ response is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their 240,000 plus employees and partners worldwide. A number of measures have been introduced in response to COVID-19 including:
    • All office locations are currently operating on a minimally-staffed basis or completely shut down in compliance with local government orders. Employees who are not on-site are working from home.
    • Restricted all travel (both domestic and international).
    • Established processes for reporting, quarantining and supporting any personnel suspected of or confirmed having tested positive for the disease.
    • Offering counselling services to employees to tackle the sense of isolation.
  • ING Australia have announced new measures to continue supporting customers and small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Measures include:
    • Repayment deferrals of up to 6 months on commercial loans for small business customers.
    • A 3 to 6 month payment pause on home loans and personal loans for those in need.
    • A 3 to 6 month payment pause on credit cards.
    • Record low fixed rates for home loan borrowers and higher term deposit rates for savers.
    • A cut of 0.35% p.a. to rates for existing commercial variable loans (under $3 million), effective from 9 April 2020.
  • Jacobs has introduced a number of measures in response to COVID-19 including restricting global travel and for employees that have to travel there are return protocols for both client-related and personal travel to ensure the safety and well-being of others. Staff are also working from home where possible.
  • Jacobs is donating $1 million towards the COVID-19 crisis to help global organizations on the frontline of fighting this pandemic, including an employee matching program for local efforts.
  • Jacobs’ field teams around the world engaged in operations and maintenance, decommissioning and decontamination activities are donating surplus masks, gloves and other supplies to local hospitals.
  • To help address the increasing challenge, Jacobs is joining forces with an international alliance to back a new project called CURA (Connected Units for Respiratory Ailments) that is focused on turning shipping containers into plug-in ICU pods to aid in the fight.
  • Customers of Jemena, who are experiencing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to access, via their energy retailer, a suite of support as part of an Energy Network Relief Package.
  • The Energy Network Relief Package offers support to eligible small-businesses and residential customers across Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. This includes many of Jemena’s 1.7 million customers in its distribution networks in New South Wales and Victoria.
  • Relief measures for customers under the package include:
    • Network charges will be rebated for small business customers experiencing financial stress and who are mothballing as a result of COVID-19.
    • For small retailers, network charges will be rebated for residential customers that go into default as a result of COVID-19.
    • Network charges will be deferred for residential customers of large retailers who go on payment plans or hardship arrangements put in place as a result of COVID-19.
    • They will support retailers in not disconnecting any residential or small business customers who may be in financial stress, without their agreement, before 31 July 2020 and potentially beyond.
    • They will support retailers in not disconnecting any large business customer, without their agreement, before 31 July 2020, and potentially beyond, if that customer is on-selling energy to residential or small business customers (for example, in residential parks or retirement villages).
  • Jemena has established a COVID-19 Response Team to ensure staff and field crews could continue to work safely.
    • Their field crews will still be working on essential maintenance and repairs to our assets in suburbs and communities.
    • Additional precautions have been implemented to ensure safe work practices, such as spreading teams across multiple depots/sites, ensuring key personnel are separated, spreading capability across teams, and where relevant, staggering start/finish times. For other essential on-site field services and fly-in, fly-out workers, physical distancing and hygiene protocols are strictly enforced. 
    • Stringent access arrangements have also been introduced at office buildings, in particular for Control Rooms, while the majority of employees work from home.
  • KWM has introduced new working arrangements across all Australian offices. Offices will be open but on a limited basis. They have asked all staff in Australia to work remotely until further notice unless working in the office is essential for client matters where a physical presence is required and there are no appropriate alternative arrangements.
  • KPMG’s first and foremost focus is on the health and wellbeing of their people, clients and communities. They are committed to making informed, balanced and respectful decisions based on the expert medical advice of the Australian authorities and sharing their insights and information to help.
  • Their response measures are aligned with the advice provided by KPMG International, Australian Government Department of Health, State Health Authorities and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  • KPMG continue to publish content in relation to common business implications of COVID-19.
  • KPMG has also initiated a number of changes to help ensure the wellbeing of their people, clients and community. KPMG Agile is part of their day-to-day working culture, it embraces flexible working that delivers freedom and choice of where and how to work. They already have the ability for the vast majority of their people to work remotely if required.
  • La Trobe Financial has established an assistance package to help our borrowers and investors who are facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19:
    • Home loan customers may apply for a 4-month repayment moratorium to assist with cashflow;
    • Tailored hardship relief for small business borrowers, which may include:
      • Deferral of scheduled loan repayments;
      • Waiver of fees and charges;
      • Temporary interest only periods to assist with cashflow; and
      • Debt consolidation to help make repayments more manageable.
    • For investors in the $5 billion retail Credit Fund, easier access to funds for customers suffering material hardship as a result of COVID-19.
    • La Trobe Financial’s dedicated Hardship Team can be reached on 1800 620 639 or hardshipassist@latrobefinancial.com.au.
  • La Trobe Financial has donated $1 million to the Epworth Hospital for provision of additional ICU medical equipment to cope with the anticipated influx of COVID-19 admissions during this pandemic.
  • Following directives from State and Federal Governments, La Trobe Financial has progressively enacted its business continuity plan with the majority of its 400-strong team working remotely from their homes. All staff are technology-enabled and the business is operating without disruption.
  • All business-critical functions will continue to operate as normal, and the security of their clients’ assets and personal information will remain unchanged. Clients can speak with their La Trobe Financial contacts in the usual way.
  • During this difficult time, they are providing frequent communications and updates to their customers, brokers, authorised representatives and financial advisers through a variety of channels including email updates, webinars and phone calls.
  • Lendlease have put in place a range of measures in their shopping centres to help fight the coronavirus outbreak. This means boosting their cleaning procedures, establishing hand sanitiser stations and displaying WHO advice on good hygiene practices.
  • On 6 April, Macquarie Group announced that it has allocated $20 million to the Macquarie Group Foundation to create a fund to make donations to a number of organisations that are working to combat COVID-19 and provide relief for its impacts. The fund will focus on recipients addressing areas of immediate and medium-term need in Australia and across the regions in which Macquarie operates.
    • From the $A20 million funding, Macquarie will make an immediate donation of $A2 million to The Global FoodBanking Network to address critical food security needs across its network of more than 900 food banks in over 40 countries, including meals for children as many schools around the world remain closed.
  • Macquarie has announced flexible financial assistance to business and personal customers facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, this includes:
    • Deferral of payments for home loan, cards and vehicle finance products
    • Reduction in credit card interest rates for an agreed period
    • A range of emergency assistance measures to support clients with urgent needs
    • Specialist and tailored assistance for business clients experiencing flow-on impacts from coronavirus, including loan restructuring and reassessment of loan terms.
  • Macquarie is also a partner to the Small Business Relief Package announced on 20 March and are offering financial relief to all SME clients.
  • This includes immediate access to a six-month repayment deferral program for any existing commercial loans.
  • Macquarie acknowledged that small to medium-sized businesses are the backbone of Australia’s economy, stated they are committed to supporting them through this challenging period.
  • Macquarie has begun reaching out to every one of their business clients to reassure them they are ready to provide the tailored support they need.
  • Personal banking customers are encouraged to download the mobile banking app or accessing their accounts via our online banking platform.
  • McDonald’s are helping to make it more convenient to pick up basics fast, safe and contact-free. You can now buy essentials like milk, English Muffins, and gourmet bread rolls at drive-thru.
  • McDonald’s are also paying credit to healthcare workers by giving them a free small McCafe hot drink or medium soft drink when they either show their healthcare ID or are in uniform when they order.
  • McDonald’s believe they have a responsibility to pay a positive part in response to this challenge. They are a leading employer of youth, and play a significant role in Australia’s agricultural industry, purchasing over 93 per cent of what they sell through local farmers.
  • McDonald's are following strict cleaning, quality control and hygiene procedures in their restaurants.
  • They have introduced new contactless options to In-restaurant, Drive-Thru and McDelivery services, minimising customer and employee contact. In restaurants this means a McDonald’s crew person will place the bag on the counter shelf to pick up, rather than directly handing it to the customer.
  • Customers can also use the MyMaccas App to order and pay. Delivery partners are ready to deliver food via a contactless experience.
  • Microsoft is helping with the challenges of COVID-19 by offering its Healthcare Bot service powered by Microsoft Azure to organisations on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response to help screen patients for potential infection and care.
  • Microsoft has closed their physical store locations to protect the health and safety of their customers and employees. Staff are now working remotely.
  • Microsoft issues a joint statement with Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, reddit, Twitter and YouTube to combat fraud and misinformation about COVID-19 on their platforms. They will continue to share critical updates in coordination with government healthcare agencies around the world.
  • Mirvac has made a commitment to support its community by paying its small business suppliers within 5 days. They hope by paying their bills faster, especially for small businesses, they can help their suppliers and partners weather this storm.
  • Mirvac has required that any employees who can work remotely, must work remotely. We have done this, not for any immediate health risk at our offices and sites, but because it is the best way to limit the spread of infection.
  • Mirvac has limited all domestic travel to only business-critical requirements.
  • All Mirvac retail centres, office towers and industrial sites remain open to trade. We have increased regular cleaning schedules at all assets, and have extra and specialised cleaning in high traffic. areas
  • Mirvac employees including part-time and casual employees can access special leave of ten days if they are unable to work remotely due to COVID-19.
  • Mirvac has extended its EAP (Employee Assistance Program) to tenants of its retail centres.
  • MYOB understands the important role we play in supporting the business community across Australia and New Zealand. This includes putting in place the below measures to help our customers manage cashflow:

    • The immediate suspension of price rises until further notice
    • A review of payment terms to provide flexibility to industries hardest hit
    • The implementation of a dedicated support team to manage hardship applications
    • Providing information on access to government grants
  • On 3 April, NAB announced additional measures to support customers affected by coronavirus:
    • NAB will waive late payment fees and reduce minimum monthly payments on all credit cards for at least the next three months.
    • Personal loan customers can also request a reduction in their minimum repayments to $100 a month for up to six months from April 17.
    • Customers using NAB’s lowest rate credit card will also receive a reduction of 100 basis points in the interest rate charged.
  • On 31 March, NAB announced that it will waive 100 per cent of licence fees paid by aligned financial planning firms, forgoing an estimated $19 million in revenue.
  • On 30 March, NAB announced additional measures to the existing Small Business Relief Package including a six-month deferral for businesses with a loan facility of up to $10 million.
  • On 20 March, NAB announced a number of measures for small businesses and homeowners hit by COVID-19, and customers are encouraged to contact NAB for support.
  • For business customers, this includes:
    • Deferring principal and interest for up to six months on a range of business loans (including floating and variable rates) and equipment loans
    • Cutting the interest rate on their Quickbiz loans and overdrafts by 200 basis-points, effective 30 March
    • A 100 basis-point reduction on variable interest rates for small business loans, effective 30 March (on top of the 25 basis-point reduction earlier this month)
    • Access of up to $65 billion of additional secured limits to pre-assessed customers, with $7 billion currently available for fast assessment process
    • Access up to $9 billion in additional limits for unsecured lending for existing customers via QuickBiz
    • Deferring business credit card repayments.
  • For personal customers, this includes:
    • Pausing home loan repayments for up to six months, including a three-month checkpoint. For a customer with a typical home loan of $400,000, this will mean access to an additional $11,006 over six months, or $1,834 per month
    • Access to a 10-month term deposit rate of 1.7 per cent per annum for 10 months, effective 24 March
    • Delivering reductions on home loan rates between 10 and 60 basis-points:
      • Access to fixed home loan rates of 2.39 per cent per annum for one year, 2.29 per cent for 2 and 3 years, and 2.79 per cent for five years, effective 30 March
      • First home buyers will have access to a rate of 2.19 per cent per annum, fixed for two years
    • Access to over $20bn in redraw and more than $30bn in offset.
    • Offering reduced repayments on variable rate loans.
  • NAB have taken a number of preventative measures including employee travel restrictions and additional cleaning in branches and offices to ensure that they remain available to help customers with their banking needs.
  • NAB’s response is being coordinated by a central team, which is made up of employees who are located both domestically and internationally, to respond to localised issues as necessary.
  • Optus is providing all eligible post-paid mobile customers a one-off add-on of 20GB of bonus data per service during the month of April.
  • Eligible pre-paid customers are being offered 10GB of additional data when they recharge $40 of more during the month of April.
  • Optus is waiving postpaid mobile access charges for health workers for the next three months.
  • All fixed broadband plans are now unlimited until 31 May 2020.
  • Optus Sport subscription fees have been waived until 31 May 2020
  • For customers experiencing hardship including small businesses, postpaid mobile charges can be placed on hold for up to 90 days as well as waiving late payment fees, suspension of disconnection and credit collection activities until 30 April 2020.
  • Origin will support small business suppliers with shorter payment terms to help them with cash flow through the current period of economic uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • For the next 6 months, Origin will accelerate standard payment terms for small business suppliers from 30 to 14 days from receipt of a valid tax invoice. This is expected to benefit approximately 1,400 Australian small businesses that supply goods and services to Origin.
  • Origin is a signatory to the Business Council of Australia’s Australian Supplier Payment Code, and this initiative on payment terms further demonstrates the company’s commitment to small business suppliers
  • Origin is helping customers impacted by COVID-19 by offering payment extensions and supporting the most vulnerable through our hardship program, such as with tailored payment plans.
  • Origin has committed to not disconnect residential and small business customers facing financial stress until at least 31 July, and has put a pause on late payment fees.
  • Staff in critical roles continue to work to keep their power stations and gas and LPG operations running safely and reliably.
  • Precautions in place to protect the health and safety of their workforce and the communities in which they operate.
  • To support their casual workers currently working on a customer site or Programmed site in Australia during this time, Programmed is offering up to two weeks paid Isolation Support leave to anyone suspected or diagnosed with COVID-19, who is required to self-isolate.
  • PwC Australia is taking considered action to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of their people, clients, guests, suppliers and contractors.
  • PwC has suspended all international business travel, with domestic travel limited to critical travel only.
  • In line with increased social distancing measures by the Australian Government, from the 26 March, all PwC Australia offices will move to ‘restricted for critical core services only’ until further notice.
  • Face-to-face meetings should only be held if an in-person meeting is critical.
  • PwC Australia has in place a business continuity management system that is independently assessed and certified to: ISO22301:2012, the International Standard for Business Continuity to reduce the potential impact of a pandemic event on client work.
  • On 26 March, Qantas have announced further measures to give customers more flexibility by extending flight credits for travel until 31 December 2021 and automatic 12-month tier status extension for Qantas Frequent Flyers.
  • Woolworths, Telstra and Rio Tinto are among a number of businesses offering short-term employment to the 20,000 Qantas staff temporarily stood down by the airline.
  • On 19 March Qantas announced it will suspend scheduled international flights from late March, following the government's latest travelling advice, with some ad hoc services possible.
  • Qantas is talking with Woolworths to see if its airline staff could be given work in their supermarkets, particularly baggage handlers which could aid the supermarket's ramped up restocking program.
  • The Group has issued a wide-ranging booking waiver for customers wanting to suspend their travel plans.
  • Senior Group Management Executives and the Board have increased their salary reductions from 30 per cent to 100 per cent until at least the end of this financial year, joining the Chairman and Group CEO in taking no pay. Annual management bonuses have also been cancelled.
  • Qantas provided emergency flights for Australians stranded in Wuhan following the outbreak of COVID-19 in China.
  • On 30 March, Rio Tinto pledged $25 million to support global grassroots, community COVID-19 preparedness and recovery. Some of these measures include:
    • Supply of masks and protective equipment to support emergency and health professionals
    • Donations to national and local communities, hospitals and international agencies.
    • Provision of ventilation units and temporary medical units in communities.
    • Further investment in education and financial literacy programs including the recently announced Future Minds Accelerator partnership.
    • The manufacturing of hand sanitiser at certain sites.
  • Rio is looking at prioritising supply to customers making equipment to fight COVID-19, including aluminium oxygen tanks or copper used for its antibacterial properties in hospitals.
  • A number of measures have been put in place to protect employees and communities including:
    • Restricting the number of fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) people at sites and implementing changes to rosters where possible as well as temperature and other rapid screening tests of the workforce at airports.
    • Reducing the number of people attending pre-start meetings, social distancing protocols, closure of all bars, gyms and pools at mining campsites.
    • Increasing support for employees by providing an on-call service for employees to return home for health or family emergencies.
    • A number of regional and corporate offices have been shut and employees are working from home.
  • SAP is uniquely positioned to have a significant impact on businesses at a time where supply chain and business travel disruption is very real. It has made the following offerings available immediately, at no cost, including:
    • Remote Work Pulse by Qualtrics (designed to help organisations understand how their employees are doing and what support they need as they adapt to new work environments).
    • SAP Ariba Discovery (helps buyers and suppliers connect quickly and effectively, and minimise disruption caused by shipment delays, capacity issues and increased consumer demand in times of crisis)
    • COVID-19 Pre-Screen & Routing by Qualtrics (provides up-to-date information to the public about the coronavirus while helping health organizations and government reduce strain, triage potential cases, and stay on top of community concerns)
    • openSAP (provides access to massive online open courses to anyone interested in learning about leading technologies, including automation, data science and machine learning).
  • Employees in SAP’s Australia and New Zealand offices are working from home.
  • All Westfield centres remain open for trade. Scentre will continue to engage with the government and relevant health authorities to ensure centres fulfil their role in providing essential goods and services to the community whilst taking the necessary health precautions.
  • Shell is putting the safety and health of their people and their customers first, along with the safe operations of all their businesses.
  • They continue to monitor the situation daily – country-by-country – and follow the advice of the relevant national health authorities. Given the very dynamic situation, they are in regular contact with suppliers and key customers.
  • They have business continuity plans in place at each operating site and office around the world to sustain their operations and supply chains, so that they can continue to provide vital energy products to countries, communities, businesses, motorists and homeowners.
  • This includes supplying many countries with liquefied natural gas, as well as providing chemicals for essential industrial processes. They are increasing production of isopropyl alcohol, a key chemical ingredient of hand sanitisers.
  • South32 has donated $1 million to support the local communities surrounding their Australian operations in the fight against COVID-19. The funds will be distributed between Royal Flying Doctor, Foodbank and Lifeline Australia.
  • South32 has introduced a number of measures to minimise the risks of COVID-19 to their workforce including:
    • Alternating time in and out of the office or site, working from home, making changes to site rosters and pre-start meetings, staggering shift start times and reducing their fly-in, fly-out workforce where possible.
    • Introducing a total ban on international travel for business and a ban on non-essential domestic travel.
    • Employees and contractors who return from personal international travel will be excluded from the workforce for 14 days and those returning from domestic travel are required to self-monitor for symptoms.
  • Stockland has increased its regular cleaning schedules at its assets and is actively promoting personal hygiene.
  • They have emergency plans in place to activate immediately in the event of a confirmed case at any Retirement Living villages, Retail centres, Workplace and Logistics assets, and head office locations.
  • Stockland is providing paid leave to any employee who is infected with COVID-19 or has caring responsibilities for an infected person, and to those who are required to self-isolate due to confirmed cases in their immediate family or household and are unable to work remotely.
  • Suncorp is offering support to small businesses affected by COVID-19, including:
    • Reducing the interest rate for existing Business Essentials variable loans (fully secured) to a maximum rate of 3.69% p.a. for residentially secured lending and a maximum rate of 3.99% p.a. for commercially secured lending.
    • Removing all business account transaction and online international transfer fees on our business deposit accounts from 3 April 2020.
    • Lowering the Small Business Overdraft and Small Business Line of Credit interest rates by 0.30% p.a. 
    • Reducing the Business Essential base variable rate for new lending to small businesses by 0.30% p.a. and reducing fixed rates for the following terms (0.30% higher for commercially secured lending): 3.29% p.a. for one and two years; 2.99% p.a. for three years; 3.59% p.a. for four years; and 3.69% p.a. for five-years.
    • Offering a six-month deferral of principal and interest repayments for small businesses affected by COVID-19.
  • Suncorp is offering personal customers support by:
    • Offering 1.70% on term deposits between 6 to 12 months.
    • Dropping their fixed rate home loans to 2.29% on two year fixed and 2.49% on three-year fixed to support customers who want certainty.
    • These rates follow the introduction of their 2.69% five-year fixed rate that came into effect on 20 March 2020.
    • Offering support for customers impacted by COVID-19 including deferring loan repayments on a case-by-case basis.
  • These measures are in addition to Suncorp’s commitment to remove all account keeping fees for personal deposit customers forever.
  • On 3 April, the Suncorp group announced a suite of measures to support its small and medium sized business insurance customers impacted by coronavirus:
    • The centrepiece of the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Package is a premium deferral, meaning Vero, GIO, AAMI and Resilium small and medium sized business insurance customers who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 can elect to defer their policies for up to six months.
  • Sydney Airport has increased their frequency of cleaning in high-touch areas like counters and touch screen. Soap dispensers in bathrooms will be topped up more frequently and they will continue to roll-out more hand sanitising stations across terminals
  • Sydney Airport also has increased public health messaging in the terminals, encouraging everyone to maintain good hygiene practices.
  • On 3 April, Tabcorp announced it would donate $1 million from unclaimed lotteries prize money to help accelerate Australian research into a COVID-19 vaccine. The donation will be made to The University of Queensland’s School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, one of six research facilities worldwide tasked with developing a vaccine by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.
  • Tabcorp’s Managing Director and CEO, David Attenborough has said, “We are working with governments, regulators, and our venue and racing industry partners to manage the impact on them, our customers and our businesses during this unprecedented period. We recognise how difficult this situation is for our people, our industry partners and the community, and we are committed to using the strength of our business model and our enduring partnerships to come through this stronger, together.”
  • On 19 March it was announced that Telstra will hire an additional 1000 temporary contract workers and bring forward $500 million of capital expenditure, as part of a major package of changes in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • This capital will be deployed to increase capacity in our network, including further accelerating the rollout of 5G and injecting much-needed investment into the economy at this time.
  • They have introduced a new “global epidemic and pandemic leave” entitlement, which provides up to 14 days of paid leave where an employee is required to self-isolate. The entitlement is also applied to casual employees. Employees with insufficient leave balances to cover required absences can also access new entitlement.
  • Telstra is not charging late service fees or suspending services for bills that become overdue between Thursday 19 March and Thursday 30 April 2020.
  • At their head office in Melbourne, Telstra has worked with Charter Hall to give the cafes at the bottom of the building a rent holiday, while their best customers – Telstra staff, work from home.
  • Telstra will also put on hold for six months the sweeping job cuts announced in Telstra's T22 plan, will scrap late bill payment fees for small businesses and consumers at least until the end of April, and extend any sponsorship deals that expire this year for a further 12 months.
  • Telstra is providing unlimited data allowances on fixed broadband and extra mobile data free of charge for consumers and small business customers, as well as offering unlimited home calls to pensioners.
  • Small business customers and Telstra suppliers will have their invoices paid as quickly as possible. Telstra announced they’re moving to 20-day payment terms by 30 June.
  • Telstra is prioritising Medical Priority Assist enquiries, as well as high-risk cases.
  • Telstra is offering a number of services free of charge or at a heavily discounted rate including Telstra Virtual Meeting Room, Telstra’s Mobile Worksuite and a new Digital Marketing Services website plan.
  • To assist employees at this time, The Star has provided two weeks of paid pandemic leave. In addition, employees will be able to access any accrued annual and long service leave entitlements.
  • TransGrid is party to the Energy Network Relief package, which offers support to eligible small business and residential customers across Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia.
  • Relief measures for customers under the package include:
    • Network charges will be rebated for small business customers experiencing financial stress and who are mothballing as a result of COVID-19.
    • For small retailers, network charges will be rebated for residential customers that go into default as a result of COVID-19.
    • Network charges will be deferred for residential customers of large retailers who go on payment plans or hardship arrangements put in place as a result of COVID-19.
    • They will support retailers in not disconnecting any residential or small business customers who may be in financial stress, without their agreement, before 31 July 2020 and potentially beyond.
    • They will support retailers in not disconnecting any large business customer, without their agreement, before 31 July 2020, and potentially beyond, if that customer is on-selling energy to residential or small business customers (for example, in residential parks or retirement villages).
  • TransGrid has escalated preparations in response to the continued spread of novel coronavirus – COVID-19. TransGrid’s response plan is focused on:
    • the health and wellbeing of staff and contractors;
    • continuity of electricity supply;
    • business solvency and access to capital, and
    • the contribution the business can make immediately and over the longer term, to protect its people, to keep performing its role and to contribute in ways which support its community and its economy.
  • Transmission operations and the supply of electricity to households, business and other organisations in NSW and the ACT is their priority.
  • Transurban is moving to expedite payments to their small business suppliers during this unprecedented time, with a commitment to pay them across both their Australian and North American markets within 14 days.
  • A range of initiatives is in place to support customers experiencing social or financial hardship. Transurban’s Linkt Assist team is on hand to provide support with Link accounts or tolls that can be adapted to customers’ changing needs.
  • The Linkt Assist hardship support has been extended to small business owners, so customers going through tough times and having difficulty managing their toll payments can receive tailored help.
  • Uber eats has announced a $5 million fund to help restaurants in Australia and New Zealand attract more customers through the coronavirus outbreak. The fund will allow restaurants to deploy promotions to attract customers and will help restaurants time promotions to suit their individual business needs.
  • Drivers diagnosed or placed in quarantine will be compensated for lost remuneration for up to 14 days. Compensation will be calculated according to their earnings in the previous 14 days.
  • Uber is also working to provide drivers with disinfectants to help them keep their cars clean.
  • They have implemented new policies for food delivery workers, including a new ‘leave at the door delivery option’.
  • Virgin Australia is offering flexible booking options for impacted guests and those who wish to change their travel due to COVID-19.
  • Virgin Australia has also set up a dedicated customer care hub on their website to deal with the surge of customer queries and travel changes.
  • Wesfarmers is committed to supporting government and community efforts to limit the spread of the virus, and the health and safety of team members and customers remains the top priority.
  • Wesfarmers companies have announced up to 14 days paid special leave for employees unable to work due to COVID-19. This applies to both to permanent and casual workers. Workers will be paid for shifts they were rostered to work during the period of absence.
  • Bunnings have committed to make donations to community partners as a result of the cancellation of sausage sizzles due to COVID-19.
  • Since January 2020, the Group’s businesses have been working closely with suppliers and logistics providers to support supply chain operations. Across the Group, more than 90 per cent of supplier factories are now operational and returning to full capacity.
  • On 20 March Westpac announced their COVID-19 customer support package. Followed by additional support on 30 March.
  • For home loan customers, the package offers:
    • A $10 billion home lending commitment, to keep the property market and economy moving and support more Australians to move into their next home.
    • Reduced fixed home loan rates, including a 2.29 per cent fixed rate home loan for one, two and three years, effective 27 March.
    • Repayment relief for home loan customers who have lost their job or suffered loss of income as a result of COVID-19 being able to contact Westpac for three months deferral on their home loan mortgage repayments with extension for a further three months available after review.  
  • For deposit and transaction account customers, the package offers:
    • Term Deposit special offer of 1.7% p.a. interest for 12 months for all Australians
    • For Australians aged 65 years and over the rate will be 2% p.a. for eight months
    • A nationwide plan to help elderly customers access telephone and internet banking: specialist call centre available to help people register for and use online banking.
  • For business customers, the package includes:
    • 200 basis point reduction on overdrafts for new and existing customers, effective 6 April
    • 100 basis point interest rate reduction for small business cash-based loans, effective 6 April
    • Repayment relief to defer principal and interest repayments of eligible business loans for six months (with interest to be capitalised) for businesses with a total lending exposure up to $10 million
    • Unsecured three-year term loan up to $250,000 for new and existing business customers with turnover of less than $50 million
    • Zero establishment fee for standard equipment finance loans until the end of June 2020
    • We are refunding the merchant terminal rental fee for up to 3 months
    • Fee-free redraws where permitted under the loan and subject to approval
    • Restructuring and consolidating loans
    • Access to term deposit funds without a reduction in the interest rate
    • Deferred payments for Business Credit Cards for 3 months.
    • Helping small and medium businesses take advantage of the increased instant asset write-off and accelerated depreciation provisions in the Federal Government stimulus package with no establishment fees for equipment finance loans until the end of June 2020.
  • This is in addition to the help that is already available to small business customers who were impacted by recent natural disasters and are experiencing hardship.
  • Customers are encouraged to visit their local branch, access online banking, or contact customer care team should they have any issues.

Woodside is proactively working to identify, minimise and manage potential risks and impacts arising from COVID-19 for its communities, suppliers and contractors.

Employees

  • Woodside is implementing a temporary roster for their operational workforce of two weeks isolation, four weeks on and two weeks rest.

Community

  • Woodside will establish a AUD $10 million COVID-19 Community Fund to support local organisations. The first beneficiaries of the fund are Lifeline WA and Foodbank WA.
  • Employees have been invited to make additional donations to the Fund, and Woodside will dollar-match these contributions.

Suppliers

  • Woodside will take steps to expedite payments of all outstanding invoices for small, local and Indigenous businesses, defined as a business generating less than AUD $10 million in annual revenue.
  • Will reduce payment terms for new invoices received from small Australian businesses, expediting payment from 30 days, targeting 14 days.
  • Where possible, will also expedite pending invoices for other work completed.

Contractors

  • Woodside will work with its contractors to consider measures to support contractors to maintain the ongoing employment of as many of their employees as practicable.
  • Woodside is considering a range of mitigations, which may include alterations to rosters and support for casual contractor personnel who may not otherwise be entitled to sick leave or payment from their contractor employer if affected by COVID-19.
  • Woodside will work with peak bodies and other industries to support redeployment initiatives where practicable. This includes identifying key contractor skill groups that can take up opportunities in industries experiencing labour shortages as a result of migration disruption.
  • Woolworths has announced that in recognition of the economic uncertainty many of its small business supplier partners are facing, it will temporarily change its payment policy to pay small suppliers within 14 days for their goods and services.
  • Woolworths has partnered with Australia Post and DHL to supply Australians who are unable to leave their homes with boxes full of supermarket basics. The Woolworths Basics Box, will help provide essential products to customers who are currently unable to visit their stores - the elderly people with a disability, those with compromised immunity and people in mandatory isolation.
  • On Friday 27 March, Woolworths Group announced it will hire up to 20,000 new roles across its supermarkets, e-commerce, supply chain and drinks businesses in Australia over the next month.
    • The new hires will allow the retailer to better meet the unprecedented demand for food and drinks across Australia. It will also help scale up online operations to support the changing shopping needs of the community as the health crisis continues to unfold.
  • Woolworths is working with Qantas to secure temporary job opportunities for the 20,000 staff that the airline will stand down with its latest COVID-19 response.
  • Woolworths has implemented a number of measures in response to COVID-19, including establishing new product limits to ensure there is enough to go around.
  • Woolworths has established a Priority Assistance delivery service to help the elderly, people with a disability, and those in mandatory isolation.
    • To scale up this initiative a small percentage of supermarkets have been identified as Priority Delivery Hubs to get more home deliveries to ‘Priority Assistance’ customers.
    • Priority Delivery Hubs will operate reduced opening hours from 9am-6pm, Monday to Sunday (ex WA). Community Hour will no longer operate at these stores.
    • The additional hours the store is not open to customers will be used to pick online orders to meet the increased demand from ‘Priority Assistance Customers.’ To view affected stores click here.
  • Woolworths has also introduced changes to their opening hours, including a dedicated shopping hour for the elderly and people with a disability from Tuesday 17 March until at least Friday 27 March to help them obtain the essential items they need most in a less crowded environment.
  • Woolworths has also introduced sensible guidelines for social distancing in store, as well as significantly increasing their cleaning across all stores, upgrading to hospital-grade disinfectant and are focusing on regular cleaning of counters and other surfaces.
  • Yarra Capital Management has established a dedicated COVID-19 response team was established in mid-February and is meeting daily. They have undertaken detailed testing of IT infrastructure to ensure all critical business systems operate as expected when accessed remotely.