Telstra freezes job cuts amid COVID-19 crisis


By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 24 March, 2020


Telstra freezes job cuts amid COVID-19 crisis

Telstra has announced a temporary moratorium on further planned job cuts in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

The company will not make any further headcount reductions it has planned as part of its T22 cost-cutting and transformation strategy for the next six months.

While Telstra remains focused on reducing fixed costs by $2.5 billion annually by the end of FY22 — a key goal of the T22 strategy — but will hold off on further job cuts.

The company had originally planned to reduce its headcount by 9500 — while creating 1500 new roles in emerging technology areas — as a result of the strategy, and is estimated to have cut around 6000 by the end of FY19.

But instead of continuing to slash jobs, Telstra now plans to recruit an additional 1000 temporary contractors in Australia to handle the increased call centre volumes during the outbreak.

In response to the outbreak, Telstra already has an estimated 25,000 employees working from home. All these employees are expected to continue working remotely until at least 20 April.

The company also plans to bring forward $500 million in capex originally planned for 2H21 into calendar year 2020, in order to give the Australian economy a shot in the arm during the slowdown.

The CEPU Communications Union, the union representing Telstra workers, welcomed the measures. CEPU has been a strong and persistent critic of Telstra’s T22 job cutting strategy.

“This isn’t just good news for workers, but also for Telstra customers who are more reliant than ever on Telstra being able to deliver a quality service,” the union’s national president, Shane Murphy, said.

“We know the quality of the Telstra service has been compromised as a result of the huge job cuts across the board at the telco, so it’s good to know that for now at least, Telstra’s experienced and dedicated workforce will be able to focus on doing what they do best — delivering a service for the people of Australia.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/StockRocket

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