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Coles will give transgender and non-binary staff 10 days of paid leave for gender-affirming care.
The Aussie supermarket giant believes it's important to help employees when they are undergoing massive life changes.
Gender affirming care consists of 'social, psychological, behavioural, and medical interventions' that are 'designed to support and affirm an individual’s gender identity'.
This can consist of counselling sessions, doctor appointments for medications, surgery and other aspects that help a person feel in tune with their body.
People who don't get access to gender-affirming care can experience episodes of 'distress', according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
The AAMC says: "Those who seek gender-affirming care are often experiencing gender dysphoria, which the [American Psychiatric Association] cites as 'psychological distress' stemming from the incongruence between gender assignment and identity."
But, it's hoped Coles' move will ensure its staff will get ample time to address any problems related to their mental health.
Coles Chief Legal and Safety Officer and chair of the Coles Pride Steering Committee, David Brewster, said it was important for trans and non-binary staff to know they are being looked after.
“We know that we have at least 900 team members who identify as transgender or gender diverse," he said.
"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.
"Our Pride network has grown significantly over the past year, and we have Pride committees in every state, driving activity and engagement at a local level."
Coles has partnered with Pride Cup Australia to show they are fully supportive of the LGBTQI+ community.
They're hoping the program will eventually reach regional and rural areas in Australia, instead of just metropolitan areas.
Pride Cup Australia CEO James Lolicato was thrilled with the Coles partnership and to see the supermarket giant taking an active role in helping its trans and non-binary staff navigate their lives.
“When I was growing up, homophobic comments were thrown around the field more than the ball was," Lolicato said.
"I didn’t feel welcome or safe to be myself in sport.
"To now see Pride Cup games being held in so many sports across the country is incredible. We know that sports clubs are at the very heart of so many communities; these events make real inroads for LGBTQI+ inclusion far beyond game day."
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