Today as part of our financial results, I updated the Telstra team about our plans to extend the hold on job reductions for our permanent employees in Australia and international locations until February next year due to COVID-19.

In March, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we put all job reductions on hold for 6 months.

We did this because it was the right thing to do – it has given our people more certainty in what has been a very uncertain time. And it is what being a responsible, purpose-led business is all about – to step up and be there in times of need.

As we approach the end of that pause, it is clear that the impacts of COVID will be with us for some time. So today we are extending our decision to keep our T22-related productivity role reductions on hold for permanent Telstra employees until February next year.

However, we expect to propose some job reductions between October and February where projects have finished or work is no longer required, volumes have declined (e.g. nbn connections) or fixed-term contracts end.

Our shift to Agile teams is helping us deliver better outcomes for our customers so we will also continue to shift additional teams to working in this way. Any restructures such as this would be made to better align to the current needs of our business. This may at times impact a small number of roles but we are committed to keeping these to a minimum.

As challenging as this will be for the people impacted, it would not be the right decision to keep them onboard when the work they are doing has ended. We will try to redeploy as many people as possible as we usually do. Those impacted would be supported by our career transition program and industry-leading retrenchment benefits.

We are still absolutely committed to our T22 strategy which we need to continue executing at pace across all other parts of our roadmap. While we believe the decision to pause job reductions until February is the right one, we will still need to face into some of these hard decisions around productivity initiatives early next year.

We know many of our people are doing it tough at the moment and we hope this decision gives some certainty in what is a very challenging economic time for Australia – and many of the countries in which we operate.