Telstra has indicated that it is willing to see its new domestic violence leave policy reflected in the next Enterprise Agreement.
In November last year Telstra announced a domestic violence policy that provides up to 10 days paid leave in any one year for employees experiencing domestic violence.
The CWU welcomed the move but pointed out that the new leave would not become an enforceable entitlement unless it was incorporated into an award or agreement.
In a radio interview earlier this month, Telstra’s General Manager for Diversity and Inclusion, Troy Roderick, was questioned on this point. In response he said that Telstra was committed to including the policy in the next Enterprise Agreement so that it became an “enduring” entitlement.
This is good news for Telstra employees. As Roderick pointed out, the statistics on domestic violence would suggest that some Telstra employees would have to be dealing with this issue.
One in three women reports experiencing domestic violence at some point in their lives and currently, on average, one woman dies every week in Australia as a result of violence by a partner.
These are shocking statistics which, apart from anything else, clearly affect women’s ability to participate in the workforce. Telstra’s initiative marks an important step in recognising that domestic violence is a workplace issue and that domestic violence leave should be a basic workplace right, like personal leave and parental leave.