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ALDI News|18 May 2022

ALDI Australia welcomes Fair Work Commission’s move to implement paid Family and Domestic Violence leave to support employees facing adversity

ALDI Australia
By ALDI Australia

Words by Viktor Jakupec, Managing Director – South Australia, ALDI Australia

With 13,500 employees and growing, we are proud of the motivated and passionate workforce we have created over the past 20 years. Part of our commitment to these employees is providing a healthy and safe working environment for them each and every day.  We believe that understanding, respecting and valuing the uniqueness of our people makes us stronger and we acknowledge all employees, from stores to warehouses and our corporate offices, come from an array of different backgrounds and have varying personal circumstances.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2.2 million Australians have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from a partner and 3.6 million Australians have experienced emotional abuse from a partner.  It would therefore be naïve to assume that a proportion of our people weren’t somehow impacted by violent, threatening or abusive behaviour from someone in their lives.

We recognise that family and domestic violence can have a devastating impact on those who experience this form of abuse. That’s why in 2020 we implemented our Family and Domestic Violence Policy which outlines a range of support options available to our people.  All employees, whether employed part time or full time, who are affected by family and domestic violence can access 10 days of paid leave available in full at the start of each calendar year. We also have in place Family and Domestic Violence Supporters who are dedicated personnel trained in supporting people experiencing family and domestic violence and are available 24 hours, 7 days a week.

In addition to paid leave and support, our policy enables employees affected by family and domestic violence to apply for a one-off payment of up to $250 for incidental costs such as emergency medical expenses or changing of locks. Where concerns exist about an employee’s safety, we will endeavour to alter working arrangements.

This week the Fair Work Commission announced proposed changes to all Awards to include 10 days of paid Family and Domestic Violence leave for full-time employees and pro-rata leave for part-time employees.  All businesses will be required to provide paid leave for their Award-covered employees, saving them from additional financial hardship at a critical time.    We strongly support this move to extend this important provision for the broader Australian workforce.

We don’t consider our Family and Domestic Violence Policy as progressive or a luxury.  Rather, we see it as part of our responsibility to our people in recognising the issues in our society which may impact them.  We take this responsibility seriously and understand our ability to make a significant difference by providing appropriate and fundamental safety and support measures to help those in our team who may be struggling.

Our Family and Domestic Violence leave policy is just one of the initiatives to support employees facing adversity in our MyALDI Wellbeing program which also provides employees:

  • Access to six free and confidential counselling or coaching sessions per work related or personal issue via our Employee Assistance Program
  • Compassionate or primary and secondary carers leave for employees and who suffer a miscarriage or still birth or employees whose partner suffers a miscarriage or stillbirth
  • Access to MyALDI Support Fund for those facing financial hardship where staff can apply for a tax-free grant when they need it most
  • Access to free physiotherapy to treat any non-work-related ache, pain or niggle before it becomes an injury
  • Free flu vaccinations each year
  • Discounted gym membership
  • Discounted Health insurance