The ANZ bank will allow transgender and gender-diverse staff in Australia and New Zealand to take six weeks of paid leave and up to 12 months of unpaid leave so that they could affirm their gender.
The bank, which is Australia’s second-largest by assets with more than 40,000 staff globally, announced on Monday that the leave will benefit employees who are undergoing “any aspect of gender affirmation including social, medical, and legal gender affirmation.”
ANZ’s Diversity and Inclusion Lead, Fiona MacDonald, said the scheme was part of the bank’s ongoing commitment to the LGBTIQ+ movement and a step towards creating a more “inclusive culture.”
She said the move is “especially important,” while claiming that trans and gender diverse people “are more likely to experience lower incomes and employment rates.”
“The six weeks of paid leave means people who are affirming their gender do not need to exhaust their annual or sick leave entitlements, while also easing some of the financial pressures,” MacDonald said.
The big four banks said in a statement on Monday that an individual can affirm their gender identity in “many ways,” and the extended leave was meant to “recognise the process needs time and is not the same for everyone.”