Heritage responds to COVID-19

Last updated 20 July 2021

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We know the COVID-19 situation can change very quickly in Australia. Our management committee is meeting regularly and we're closely following advice from Australian Government agencies to ensure we are enacting best-practice measures. It’s important that we are proactive in our response. We'll continue to work quickly to put required measures in place to protect the health of our staff and our members, and to maintain the vital services we provide. 

Our response plan

Our response plan

As part of our regular business continuity planning, Heritage already has a well thought out Pandemic Management Plan in place. We activated a management committee in January 2020 to start guiding how we implement the measures in our plan.

We recognise that COVID-19 is an issue requiring proactive management, while also ensuring our response is measured and appropriate.

We’re closely following the advice from Australian Government agencies to ensure our actions are in line with the best practice medical advice.

Protecting the health and safety of staff, customers and everyone we come in contact with is of the utmost importance. We’ve introduced the following measures to keep people safe:

  • We’re urging everyone to practice good hygiene, and to stay away from work and seek medical advice if they feel sick, especially with flu-like symptoms.
  • Any staff who arrive home from travelling overseas must self- isolate themselves for 14 days.
  • If people have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, they must immediately isolate themselves and work from home for 14 days.
  • If people have been in close contact with someone suspected of having COVID-19, they should self-isolate and work from home for 14 days.

Practising good hygiene

Following correct hygiene practices is one of the best ways we can prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • We have provided additional supplies of hand-sanitiser to all our locations and distributed information on best-practice hand-washing and hygiene practices.
  • We've provided our front line staff with well fitted gloves to protect them while handling money.
  • Staff have been asked to clean and wipe down hard surfaces every 30 minutes to prevent the virus from spreading.
  • We've placed markers on the floor of our branches near counters to help enforce distancing requirements. 
  • We're organising additional cleaning of branches and office locations, where possible.

Visiting Heritage locations

We’re asking our customers, contractors, suppliers and business partners to take simple precautions to help us reduce any risk of spreading COVID-19.

  • During this time, we’re asking customers not to visit our branches unless absolutely essential. Our customers are encouraged to continue their banking online or via phone instead. We've put signs in place at our branches to share this message.
  • If customers or business partners need to organise a meeting with Heritage staff, we’re offering them the option of completing their enquiry via telephone or web meeting, rather than a face-to-face meeting.
  • If you are a supplier or contractor whose staff regularly attend a Heritage office location, we’re requesting they take appropriate steps to avoid or reduce the risk of exposure to themselves, our customers and staff.
  • In line with Queensland and New South Wales Government advice, it is now compulsory for COVID-19 check-in at all of our branches. All visitors are required to check-in to assist with contact tracing via the QR codes available. If you do not have a smartphone, please speak to our friendly branch team who can assist with access to the relevant Government Check In app.

Alternative working locations

We’re following advice from the health authorities for businesses to adopt the Social Distancing approach. This is a way to reduce the risk of contracting the virus and enhancing organisational resilience by limiting the concentration of staff members in the one location.
 
Many of our administrative staff have the capacity to work remotely and are doing so now. Our different departments are also fulfilling their normal business requirements with a mixture of staff working from their normal locations, working from home, or working out of alternative Heritage locations. 
 
We have steps in place to ensure our Branches remain open as usual and our Queensland-based Contact Centre will continue to be staffed 24/7.

Changes to branch trading hours

In interest of the safety of our customers, staff and the wider community, we have temporarily ceased Saturday trade for most of our branches. Additionally, all Heritage branches are closing 30 minutes earlier Monday – Friday so they can be thoroughly cleaned.

The following branches are still open on Saturdays:

  • Clifford Gardens
  • Grand Central
  • Kmart
  • Wilsonton

The following branches are also open on Saturdays for non-cash enquiries:

  • Maroochydore
  • Coomera
  • Highfields

Visit our branch locator to check individual branch trading hours.

Changes to fee waivers

Heritage has decided to end the fee waivers we introduced last year as part of our package of COVID hardship relief measures. Heritage has been waiving or refunding the following fees for all customers with lending products since the initial COVID outbreak hit in March last year:

  • Default Fee (lending products)
  • Late payment fee (credit cards)
  • Cheque Dishonour Fee (on line of credit and overdraft facilities)
  • Direct Debit Dishonour Fee (on line of credit, overdraft facilities and credit cards)
  • Over Limit Fee (Business credit card)
  • Overdraft Reference Fee (on line of credit and overdraft facilities)

The COVID fee waiver was a temporary measure designed to give people a helping hand to cope with the initial shock of COVID. Now that the need for urgent initial assistance is over, we will be returning to our normal fee structure. The fee waiver will end effective from 15 February, 2021.

Importantly, if you're experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID and need support, we have a range of assistance measures that are still available. Reach out to us on 1800 222 030 (option 1) and our team will work quickly to assess your situation and advise how we can help.

Ways to bank

Let's work together to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

During this time, we strongly encourage you not to visit our branches unless it’s absolutely essential. Particularly if you're not feeling well or think you've been exposed to the virus. 

We offer a wide range of alternative banking channels, including Heritage Online, our Mobile Banking App, and Phone Banking. If you would like to register for any of these services, give us a call and we can help you get started.

Banking Branchless
No matter where you’re located, we have banking solutions to help you including 24/7 service, online account opening, Bank@Post and much more.  
COVID-19 Relief Package

We understand the ongoing impact that COVID-19 is having and how quickly the situation can change for our members. We appreciate that everyone’s circumstances are different, so we have a range of ongoing assistance measures that we can make available for an agreed amount of time.

If you are financially impacted by COVID-19 please reach out to us as soon as possible on 1800 222 030 (option 1). Our team will work quickly to assess your situation and advise how we can help. Alternatively you can apply for relief by completing the Hardship Relief Form. 

Special phone lines

To assist our most vulnerable customers, and those working on the front line, we've established special phone lines for seniors, emergency services workers and healthcare workers so that we can help them with their banking over the phone, in a fast-tracked way. 

To access these special phone lines, members must:

  • Hold a Pensioner Concession Card, Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, State Seniors Cards, or;
  • Be a healthcare and emergency services worker and hold an AHPRA card, or be able to provide proof of their workplace

Emergency Services and Healthcare Workers Hotline

07 4694 9007

Seniors Hotline

07 4694 9081 

Support for business

SME Business Loans

We know many businesses were impacted by COVID-19 and needed additional support during this time. That's why we took part in Phase 2 of the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme. Under this Scheme, we assisted Small and Medium Businesses (SMEs) to obtain better access to credit to help them adapt to the new, COVID-safe economy and invest for the future. 

While our SME Support Loans are no longer available, we still have products and solutions to help your small or medium business grow. Visit our Business Loans section to learn more or get in touch with us to discuss your options with a Business Banking Specialist. 

What's next

More information

If you would like more information about the COVID19 situation, visit the Australian Government Department of Health or World Health Organization websites.