Gender affirmation leave - a step in the right direction?


On top of the myriad of issues Non Executive Directors need to get their heads around on 2022, we have two novel new forms of leave reflecting Australia's ever changing societal norms.


​In June, ANZ announced its Australian and New Zealand based employees who are affirming their gender will be able to access six weeks of paid leave, and up to 12 months’ unpaid leave.

A recent article by Clayton Utz on enterprise bargaining trends brings to our attention a pending Enterpise Agreement between the Australian Youth Climate Commission (AYCC) and the Australian Services Union, which contains some novel clauses:

  1. Paid Climate Disaster Leave – provides 5 days’ leave per calendar year, which may be taken in circumstances where an extreme weather event affects an employee, a member of their family or community they belong to. The leave will not accrue year to year and will not be paid out upon termination.
  2. Gender Affirmation Leave – provides up to 30 days of paid leave for essential and necessary gender affirmation or transition purposes, which can be taken as consecutive, single or part days. It also provides up to 12 months of unpaid leave.

Currently employees have access to the following annual leave provisions:

  • Sick leave 10 days
  • Annual leave 20 days
  • Bereavement leave 2 days
  • Carers leave 10 days
  • Total = 32 days

Adding a futher 35 days would bring the annual leave total for an eligible employee to 57 days. 

The Clayton Utz article goes on to comment that Generation Z employees (the cohort born between 1996 and 2012) will have different drivers for workforce entitlements than previous generations. Coupled with a commitment by the new Labor Government to increase access to arbitration during the bargaining process, Clayton Utz believes this could see the emergence of a change in typical EA terms and conditions.

"While not yet seen in practice, the changes may mean a more robust avenue for parties to arbitrate the bargaining process, which may give rise to new EA clauses."

What are the views of WOB Members / NEDs?

As always we are interested in the views of WOB Members and NEDs we'd love you to fill in this quick questionnaire on Proposed Workforce Leave Entitlements. 


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