Telstra is offering paid leave for workers affected by coronavirus.
Employees who can’t work from home will be guaranteed up to 14 days’ paid leave if forced into isolation by the outbreak.
Additionally, those required to care for children affected by school or childcare centre closures will also be eligible for paid leave.
Most Telstra employees can work from home
More than 90 percent of Telstra’s 29,000 workers can work from home.
Management says it will ensure remaining employees can access up to two weeks’ paid leave if affected by coronavirus.
The policy changes are aimed at technicians in the field, in addition to store and contact centre employees.
Casuals will also have access to leave
Permanent Telstra employees receive 15 days’ sick or carer’s leave annually.
Under the policy, the leave balances of affected employees will be topped up if required.
Affected casuals will get access to up to 14 days’ leave paid at their base rate, however, it won’t include a casual loading.
Furthermore, casuals will be paid if stores close and they are rostered to work.
A Telstra spokesperson said:
“This is an unprecedented situation.
“One that requires us to step up, be there for our people and give those who need it most the support and reassurance to get through this difficult time.”
Union calls on government to pay for leave
The ACTU wants the government to fund two weeks’ paid leave for all workers directly impacted by the coronavirus, including:
- all permanent,
- casual and
- contract workers affected by the outbreak,
- including employees forced into isolation and workers impacted by company closures or downturns.
ACTU secretary Sally McManus warns if workers are forced to choose between going to work sick or being able to pay bills and feed their families:
“then we are creating a disaster scenario for public health”.
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan welcomed Telatra’s decision to fund leave for its workforce.
“Workers forced to choose between going to work sick, or not being able to pay the rent or bills, will always choose to work,” he said.
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