Trans and gender diverse Suncorp employees are now entitled to six weeks of paid gender affirmation leave
- New right for 13,000 employees
- Six weeks of paid leave and up to 12 months unpaid
- Suncorp employees welcomed a new benefit
Suncorp has become the latest Australian company to offer gender affirmation leave to employees in support of its trans and gender diverse employees.
The finance company’s 13,000 employees are now entitled to six weeks of paid gender leave and up to 12 months of unpaid leave to give them the time and financial support they need to confirm their gender.
The new right includes time for staff to inform family and friends of a change of gender identity, adopt clothing style and presentation that better reflect their gender identity and change their pronouns or name.
The leave also includes legal and medical confirmations, including changing identity documents, surgeries, recovery after surgery, hormone therapy, and attending appointments.
Suncorp Now Offering Six Weeks of Paid Gender Affirmation Leave to Employees (stock image)
Suncorp employees in New Zealand are also entitled to the new furlough payment.
Vera Dawson is one of the employees who will benefit and hopes the reform will inspire other employees to share their true identity with Suncorp.
She said the new leave provides tailored support for her continued gender affirmation, including the flexibility to take time off to attend appointments that are difficult to accommodate if she works full-time.
“The fact that Suncorp has these kinds of leave entitlements certainly affects how newcomers see, trust and feel supported by their employer,” Vera said.
“People like me now have the freedom and the support of the organization to make the arrangements they need, and it will only make things a lot easier for them.”
Suncorp’s Employee Resource Group Amplify President Olivia Sinden said the move represented Suncorp’s progress in recognizing and celebrating the diversity of its workforce.
A large number of Australian workers are now offering gender confirmation leave to staff (stock image)
“Many of the changes required for people confirming their gender require multiple appointments, most of which are only available during standard Monday-Friday working hours,” Ms Sinden said.
“Additionally, the unemployment rate among the gender diverse population is more than three times the Australian average, so re-entering the workforce has not always been an easy undertaking for this community.”
Suncorp joins a host of organizations offering gender affirmation leave, including ANZ, Coles, Zurich, Allianz, along with broadcasters ABC and SBS.
Gender affirmation leave has become an emerging inclusion in company agreements and workplace policies across Australia, according to Clayton Utz.
Suncorp staff will have access to 12 months of unpaid leave to get the time and financial support they need to confirm their gender
Global IT software company Saleforce announced in late 2021 that it would assist its Australian and New Zealand transgender employees in their transition to gender affirmation.
It included a transgender benefits package with four additional weeks of paid leave and $54,400 for gender confirmation surgeries, along with prescription drugs, hormone therapy, and hair transplant/removal costs.
There is also a $500 clothing allowance, $1000 for legal fees for updating gender status on birth certificates, licenses and other government documents, and counseling services for employees and their loved ones.
An employee advocacy program was also established to support staff with affiliation, equity and career guidance.