Customers walk past a ANZ logo on the wall of a bank in Sydney.

What is ANZ’s paid gender affirmation leave and who else provides it?

ANZ has announced that it will allow employees based in Australia and New Zealand to take paid leave while affirming their gender.

Its newly created gender affirmation leave will allow employees to take six weeks of paid leave and up to 12 months of unpaid leave when experiencing any aspect of gender affirmation.

ANZ said these aspects include social, medical and legal gender affirmation.

The bank said there are different ways an individual can affirm their gender and provided the examples below (which are not limited to):

Social

  • Adopting a dress and presentation style that better matches their gender identity and expression
  • Change pronouns and/or name

Medical

  • Surgery, hormone therapy, or both
  • Medical appointments
  • Rest and recovery after medical procedures

Legal

  • Legally change their name and/or gender marker on personal identification documents such as passport, birth certificate, driver’s license or credit card
The big four banks say the new leave means employees won’t have to use up their annual or sick leave.(Provided: Unsplash)

“Gender affirming people don’t need to exhaust their annual or sick leave entitlements, while alleviating some of the financial pressures,” said Fiona MacDonald, ANZ’s Head of Diversity and Inclusion.

ANZ’s announcement comes after major companies have taken steps to make their workplaces more inclusive for trans and gender diverse people.

In 2018, Woolworth introduces a gender affirmation policy that entitles employees to up to two weeks of paid leave and two weeks of unpaid leave, to support them in their efforts to be gender affirming.

Allianz Insurance introduces paid gender-affirming leave in 2021, allowing employees to take four weeks of paid leave and up to 12 months of unpaid leave.

willThe 2021 Gender Affirming Leave Policy allows eligible Australian-based permanent employees access to eight weeks paid leave to affirm their gender.

Just last month, Coles announced that it would grant up to 10 days leave to staff undergoing gender affirmation.

What are the other types of leave?

Leave doesn’t just stop at service, sick and long-term years.

These are the types of leave available for part-time and full-time employees in Australia that you may not have known about.

Leave for family and domestic violence

All employees, including casual employees, are entitled to five days unpaid family and domestic violence leave each year.

The Fair Work Act 2009 indicates that family and domestic violence means violent, threatening or abusive behavior by a close relative of an employee who:

  • Seeks to coerce or control the employee
  • Their cause of harm or fear
A person hands another person a clipboard with a paper contract.
Full-time, part-time and casual employees are entitled to five days of unpaid family and DV leave.(Provided: Pexels)

Fair Work Act 2009 defines a close relative as:

That of an employee:

A person:

  • Spouse or ex-spouse
  • Current or former de facto partner
  • Child
  • relative
  • Grand parent
  • small child
  • Brother and sister

Related to employee under Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander kinship rules

Fair Work also defines a close relative as a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling of a current or former spouse or common-law partner.

Compassionate Care and Bereavement Leave

Fair Work stipulates that full-time and part-time employees are entitled to two days paid compassionate care leave.

These employees can take compassionate care leave if:

  • A member of their immediate family or household dies, or contracts or develops a life-threatening illness or injury
  • A baby in their immediate family or household is stillborn
  • They miscarry
  • Their current spouse or common-law partner has a miscarriage
Woman standing next to woman in wheelchair in grassy field with trees
Full-time and part-time employees receive paid compassionate care leave based on the hours they would have worked during the leave.(Provided: Unsplash)

Immediate family includes:

  • The immediate family of the employee’s spouse or common-law partner – or former spouse or common-law partner
  • Relationships by marriage, e.g. step-parent or step-child
  • Adoptive relationships

Casual employees are entitled to compassionate care leave without pay.

Community service leave

Full-time, part-time and casual employees are entitled to community service leave for activities such as voluntary emergency management or jury duty.

Fair Work states that community service leave is unpaid and there is no limit to the amount an employee can take.

Voluntary emergency management activity

An employee engages in voluntary emergency management activity if:

  • The activity involves responding to an emergency or natural disaster
  • The employee engages in the activity on a voluntary basis
  • The employee was solicited in an activity
  • Employee is a member of, or has a member-like association with, a recognized emergency management organization
Three Queensland State Emergency Service volunteers help clear a driveway after a cyclone hits
Volunteers of the State Emergency Service (SES) are entitled to (Provided: Fire and emergency services)

Recognized emergency management organization

A Recognized Emergency Management Organization is: an organization that has a role or function as part of a plan to deal with natural emergencies/disasters, firefighting, civil protection or a rescue organization.

This includes organizations such as:

  • The state emergency service
  • National Fire Authority
  • the RSPCA – rescuing animals in an emergency or natural disaster

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