Westpac is being widely praised for its new diversity and parenting leave conditions it is offering staff, which includes up to four weeks paid leave and a full year of unpaid leave to make a gender transition.
The leave arrangements are part of a new enterprise bargaining agreement.
“This is a fantastic step in the right direction,” said Miles Heffernan from Discrimination Claims.
“Allowing leave for transgender surgery shows that big business is recognising diversity in their workforce, and that different employees have different and unique circumstances and needs.”
Deakin University in Victoria has also introduced a new policy which allows staff undergoing a sex change up to 10 days of paid leave.
Westpac says it wants workers ‘to be themselves’
A spokeswoman for Westpac told Fairfax that workers who wished to transition to a different sex could take up to four weeks of paid leave in a single block or in separate blocks.
“There is also access to counselling and support services if needed,” she said.
“Westpac has a proud history of supporting the LGBTIQ community and we want employees to be themselves, no matter their gender or sexual orientation.
“This is something we feel passionate about, so we’re please to have it in our EA.”
Domestic violence and “Sorry Day” leave
Westpac’s new enterprise agreement also doubles paid domestic violence support leave from 10 to 20 days, and allows Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees to take up to three days off for “Sorry Business”.
“This is absolutely fantastic for workers – not only does it acknowledge cultural diversity, but the increase in domestic violence leave will help those who are struggling with awful and stressful issues at home, by allowing them time to look after children, or make other living arrangements, including moving home, not to mention appointments with police or lawyers,” Mr Heffernan said.
Compassionate leave has been increased to three days per occasion, while parental leave benefits will be extended to long-term foster carers and paid leave for support carers has increased from two to three weeks.
And that’s not all – all employees who earn up to $82,500 will be given a 3.25 per cent pay rise.
“I’m sure many Westpac workers will be happy with the new enterprise agreement, and the conditions will also attract people who might want to work for an organisation that recognises the unique needs of their staff,” Mr Heffernan said.
If you have suffered discrimination based on your gender, sexuality, race or parental status, you may be entitled to compensation.
Please call our friendly team at Discrimination Claims today on 1300 853 837.
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