Telstra has announced a new domestic violence policy to coincide with White Ribbon Day, the national day when men speak out against violence against women, especially within the context of the family.
Telstra’s Family and Domestic Violence Support policy will provide employees with up to 10 days paid leave to attend medical appointments, attend counselling sessions, receive legal advice or undertake other activities related to their experience of family/domestic violence.
This leave is over and above personal/carer’s leave, although under the policy personal/carer’s leave may also be accessed by those experiencing domestic violence if more than the 10 days domestic violence leave is required.
An employee supporting someone experiencing domestic violence may apply for carer’s leave.
The leave is not cumulative, year on year, and is not available to casuals on a paid basis, only unpaid. And because it is provided for by policy, rather than being part of an award or enterprise agreement, the entitlement is not enforceable. So the actual amount of leave any employee gets will be at the discretion of management.
The CWU nevertheless welcomes Telstra’s adoption of this policy which marks an important step towards making domestic violence leave a recognised workplace right like sick leave and parental leave.