Coles introduces paid leave for trans workers undergoing gender affirmation

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·News Reporter
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Supermarket giant Coles has announced that trans and gender diverse team members will now be entitled to up to 10 days paid gender affirmation leave.

The announcement, made a day after the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), comes as part of Coles’ commitment to actively contribute to local LGBTQI+ communities.

Coles has also signed up as an official partner of Pride Cup Australia, which promotes inclusivity and diversity in sport.

Pride Cup Australia founder Jason Ball with Coles Chief Legal and Safety Officer David Brewster
Coles has signed up as an official partner of Pride Cup Australia, which promotes inclusivity and diversity in sport. Source: Coles Group

The partnership aligns with Coles’ focus on health and wellbeing – recognising that the ability to participate in sport without discrimination is critical to living healthy and happy lives.

Coles champions LGBTQI+ inclusion

David Brewster, Coles Chief Legal and Safety Officer and chair of the Coles Pride Steering Committee, said these announcements are an important step for Coles’ commitment to champion LGBTQI+ inclusion in the workplace and wider community.

“We know that we have at least 900 team members who identify as transgender or gender diverse,” said Mr Brewster.

“We need to have proper policy and education in this area so there is clear guidance around taking leave for this important transition in their life.”

Coles delivery truck with Pride rainbow flag
The move marks an important step for Coles’ commitment to champion LGBTQI+ inclusion in the workplace and wider community. Source: Twitter

Mr Brewster explained that Coles’ Pride network has “grown significantly” over the past year, with Pride committees in every state.

Coles’ partnership with Pride Cup Australia will help to ensure that LGBTQI+ athletes at all levels can play sport in a safe place in all communities around Australia.

“Our goal is for the program to reach regional and rural areas as well as in metropolitan locations,” he said.

Coles to help Pride Cup Australia expand to 750 clubs across Australia

Pride Cup Australia CEO James Lolicato said that Pride Cup Australia advocates for LGBTQI+ inclusion in sport, working across all levels of sporting organisations.

“When I was growing up, homophobic comments were thrown around the field more than the ball was. I didn’t feel welcome or safe to be myself in sport,” lamented Mr Lolicato.

He said that seeing Pride Cup games being held in so many sports across Australia is “incredible” and these events make real inroads for LGBTQI+ inclusion in sports games and beyond.

Pride Cup Australia football match
Pride Cup Australia advocates for LGBTQI+ inclusion in sport, working across all levels of sporting organisations. Source: Facebook/Pride Cup Australia

Since it began in 2012, the Pride Cup has had a significant impact on the LGBTQI+ community, helping to reduce homophobic language in sporting clubs by up to 40 per cent when a Pride Cup event or education session is held.

“We are so delighted that Coles is supporting our organisation because as part of our partnership, Coles will help Pride Cup Australia expand their reach to over 750 clubs annually across Australia by 2025.”

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