242 Exhibition St, Melbourne, VIC - Telstra
Telstra News |

Telstra and COVID-19: what you need to know

By Telstra News August 7, 2020

The evolving situation around COVID-19 (Coronavirus) means we want to keep you updated as quickly as possible on impacts to our business, and new policies for our people and customers.

That’s why we’ll be posting new updates relating to COVID-19 here when they’re available.

Last updated: Friday, 7 August 2020

We’re repurposing some Melbourne stores for essential services

Friday, 7 August 2020

Following further consultation with the Victorian Government and industry, we will be repurposing 30 of our stores in metropolitan Melbourne as contactless service centres for customers with essential service issues from Monday.

The stores will be operating with reduced staffing levels six days a week (Monday – Saturday) from 10am to 2pm.  These operating hours will be in place for the duration of the Stage 4 restrictions and will be by appointment only.

Customers are asked to call their local store to make an appointment if they are experiencing an essential service issue only.

Essential services include the following:

  • SIM swap
  • New or replacement devices
  • Fixed internet connection and modems

Once an appointment has been made with your local store, customers are asked to attend at the designated time with photo ID, and only if they are not experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms and have not come into contact with someone who has COVID-19. Our team members will be wearing masks, observing social distancing, physical hygiene requirements and our customers must do the same when they visit.

We take our responsibility to be COVID-safe during this time extremely seriously. We understand the need to significantly reduce the risk of transmission in the community and are taking this obligation very seriously.  We also understand it’s critical that customers are able to get online and stay connected during this difficult time.

That is why we have put in place these strict processes in order to help protect both our customers and our people.

The stores that will operate as service centres during this time are as follows (this list is subject to change):

  • Airport West
  • Altona Gate
  • Berwick
  • Box Hill
  • Chirnside Park
  • Craigieburn
  • Elstrnwick
  • Fountain Gate (Level 1)
  • Hastings
  • Mornington
  • Northcote
  • South Melbourne
  • Sunbury
  • Victoria Gardens
  • Waverley Gardens
  • Werribee
  • Chadstone
  • Greensborough
  • Knox
  • Melbourne Icon
  • Southland
  • Camberwell
  • Epping
  • Frankston
  • Melton
  • Pakenham
  • The Pines
  • Eastland
  • Highpoint

Temporarily closing our metro Melbourne stores during Stage Four restrictions

Wednesday, 5 August, 2020

During this time of sustained and intensive transmission, the Victorian State Government has implemented Stage Four restrictions for Melbourne and Stage Three restrictions for regional Victoria. These restrictions have been implemented for a period of six weeks.

To comply with the current advice from the Victorian Government, we will be temporarily closing our retail and partner stores in metropolitan Melbourne from Thursday 6 August. This includes 60 Telstra-branded stores, 15 partner stores and a number of Telstra Business Technology Centres.

Our Telstra Store teams will move to work-from-home arrangements to assist our customer service teams in answering customer queries. We will be in touch with you if you were expecting to pick up a device from one of our metro Melbourne stores in the coming days. Meanwhile, we know that connectivity is vital when we’re all at home. That’s why we have a range of support available, including additional free data for fixed and mobile customers and free calls for pensioners.

If you’re one of those experiencing hardship, we urge you to get in touch with us via our Messaging service in the My Telstra app or through our Bill Assistance page. That way we can make sure you’re getting the right service and support for your needs.

We know that this is a difficult time for everyone, but Stage Four restrictions are not unprecedented. We successfully operated in Northern Tasmania during its Stage Four lockdown, working hard to support our customers and keep the community connected.

Thank you for your ongoing patience in what is a challenging time for us all.

We will look to temporarily close the following stores:

  • Chadstone
  • Doncaster
  • Eastland
  • Fountain Gate
  • Greensborough
  • Highpoint
  • Knox
  • Melbourne (Elizabeth St)
  • Melbourne (Exhibition St)
  • Melbourne Central
  • Melbourne Icon
  • Northland
  • Southland
  • The Glen
  • Telstra Licensed Store (TLS) Airport West
  • TLS Altona Gate
  • TLS Berwick
  • TLS Box Hill
  • TLS Broadmeadows
  • TLS Brunswick
  • TLS Camberwell
  • TLS Carlton
  • TLS Caroline Springs
  • TLS Chirnside Park
  • TLS Craigieburn
  • TLS Cranbourne
  • TLS Elsternwick
  • TLS Epping
  • TLS Forest Hill
  • TLS Fountain Gate (Level 1)
  • TLS Hastings
  • TLS Hawthorn
  • TLS Karingal
  • TLS Malvern
  • TLS Melton
  • TLS Moonee Ponds
  • TLS Mornington
  • TLS Northcote
  • TLS Pakenham
  • TLS Parkmore
  • TLS Plenty Valley
  • TLS Point Cook
  • TLS Port Melbourne
  • TLS Rosebud
  • TLS South melbourne
  • TLS Stud Park
  • TLS Sunbury
  • TLS The Pines
  • TLS Victoria Gardens
  • TLS Williamstown
  • TLS Dandenong
  • TLS Frankston
  • TLS Pop-Up Coburg
  • TLS Werribee
  • TLS Narre Warren Kiosk
  • TLS Brandon Park Kiosk
  • TLS Heidelberg Kiosk
  • Telstra Business Technology Centre (TBTC) Melbourne City
  • TBTC Melbourne East
  • TBTC Melbourne North West
  • TBTC Melbourne South
  • TBTC Victoria East
  • Telstra Business Centre (TBC) Mornington
  • TBC Bundoora

Supporting our customers in Victoria under increased COVID-19 restrictions

Tuesday, 4 August

With increased COVID-19 restrictions around Melbourne metropolitan and regional Victorian areas, we want to help our affected customers stay connected – that’s why we’re offering our eligible consumer and small business customers in Victoria additional mobile data, as well as offering unlimited home phone calls to pensioners. The offers will be available from Thursday 6 August.

Some changes for our teams supporting you in Victoria

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

In response to the ongoing community transmission of COVID-19, the Victorian Government has mandated that from midnight Wednesday 22 July, masks or face coverings will be mandatory for everyone in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire when you leave the house.

We have always said that the safety of our staff and our customers is paramount at this time. This remains unchanged. Our people working in this area, including in our stores, will be required to wear masks to comply with the state government’s directions.

We have already been distributing masks to our teams in the field and stores and we’re looking to increase this distribution to other key sites. We’re also investigating the use of cloth masks as an alternative and more environmentally-sustainable option in the long term.

We’ve also advised our team to refuse store entry to customers who are not wearing a mask (unless they meet the Government exemption criteria).

The use of masks isn’t new for our people who have stayed on the frontline and continued to do essential work. Throughout the pandemic, they have often needed to wear masks to meet public health requirements. Because of this, we already have well-established and appropriate safe work processes in place for our people.

As well as mask-use in our stores, we continue to take precautions we ask our customers to be mindful of.

Enhanced cleaning – including access to hand-sanitiser and regular cleaning and sanitisation of devices – is already in place, along with plexiglass in customer service areas; effective floor management ensuring appropriate customer numbers in stores; physical distancing, and gloves for our teams.

All team members unable to work due to COVID-19 will continued to be supported through our paid Pandemic Leave policy.

Our stores are here to help, and we encourage you to book an appointment ahead of time if you need in-person assistance.

An update on our Airport West store

Friday, 17 July 2020

One of our licensee stores in Airport West, Victoria has encountered a suspected case of COVID-19.

The store has been deep-cleaned overnight, and employees who may have been exposed are being isolated and tested out of an abundance of caution. The store is now open, however, we will provide further updates as they come to hand.

You can find your nearest store and book an appointment with our Store Finder.

Update: Testing has returned a negative result. This store is open for trading.

An update on our Mornington store

Thursday, 16 July 2020

One of our licensee stores in Mornington, Victoria has today been closed temporarily after a staff member tested positive to COVID-19.

Store staff are seeking testing and have been provided help under our Employment Assistance program.

The store is currently being deep-cleaned over the next 48 hours, and we look forward to welcoming customers back when it reopens.

In the meantime, you can find your nearest store and book an appointment with our Store Finder.

Providing assistance to Victorian residents in hard lockdown

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

We’re working with the Victorian Government on options to support residents of the nine buildings in lockdown in North Melbourne and Flemington.

We are providing unmetered data for fixed line customers until the end of August, 10GB of extra data for prepaid mobile customers and 25GB of extra data for post-paid customers in the buildings.

An update on our Victorian stores

Monday, 6 July 2020

Two of our licensee stores in Victoria – Altona Gate and Williamstown – have been closed temporarily after a staff member tested positive to COVID-19 at the Altona Gate store.

While there wasn’t workplace exposure in this instance, team members from both stores are self-isolating at home and will be tested for COVID-19 as a precaution.

Both stores are currently being deep-cleaned and we look forward to welcoming customers back when they reopen and staff will come back once they meet all necessary clearances.

In the meantime, you can find your nearest store and book an appointment with our Store Finder.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020: Our licensee store at Altona Gate has now re-opened.

An update on our Bourke Street Telstra Store

Monday, 6 July 2020

As a priority, we want to help ensure the safety of both our customers and our Telstra Store staff. We’ve taken a number of steps to stay COVID-safe.

This is why our Telstra Discovery store on Bourke Street was closed on Friday afternoon (3/7) and remained closed over the weekend, after a staff member unfortunately returned a positive COVID test result.

Over the weekend, two more staff members also returned positive tests. The three team members are quarantining and other staff who worked with them are now self-isolating.

Rest assured, we’re working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services to help in contact tracing customers who may have been in contact with the team members last week.

The store has received a deep clean over the weekend and will reopen today staffed by team members from other stores.

Again, the safety of our staff and customers is our number-one priority. As a result, we continue to take precautions we’d ask our customers to be mindful of.

Enhanced cleaning – including the provision of hand-sanitiser and regular wiping and sanitisation of devices – is already in place, along with plexiglass in customer service areas; effective floor management managing appropriate customer numbers in stores; social distancing, and gloves for our staff. All team members unable to work due to COVID will continued to be supported through our paid Pandemic Leave policy.

Our stores are here to help, and we encourage you to book an appointment ahead of time if you need in-person assistance.

Updated Thursday, 9 July 2020: One additional staff member at our Melbourne Discovery store has tested positive to COVID-19 and is self-isolating at home. More than 40 staff members tested have so far returned negative results. There is no change to our store operations – the Melbourne Discovery store remains open and trading.

We’re reopening selected stores

As COVID-19 restrictions ease in some states, most Telstra stores that were closed in March are set to re-open.

Read more about this story.

We’re helping bridge the gap with online learning

With the reality of social distancing setting in, schools across the country are doing a tremendous amount of work to provide online education resources for students and parents. We’re proud to be doing our part in helping to bridge the gap by providing 20,000 disadvantaged students and teachers across the country with internet access to educational content to support their online learning through the Department of Education and Catholic Education.

Read more about this story.

Making self-service easy with the new My Telstra app

To help you interact with us online more easily, we’re ramping up our digital capabilities as a priority – so you can get the help you need to get connected and stay connected. We’ve just launched our new My Telstra app which is designed to be a one-stop shop for all your Telstra needs. We have also created a number of self-service videos to help you with your basic service needs.

Read more about this story.

If you can #StayHome, you should 

Friday, 27 March 2020

As we continue to work-from-home and practice good social distancing, we want to encourage others to join us in flattening the curve of COVID-19. That’s why you’ll see us change our network name on your mobile phone during this uncertain time to – Telstra #StayHome. 

From today, when you look in the top corner of your Apple iOS device connected to the Telstra mobile network, you’ll see our new name: Telstra #StayHome. That’s because the best thing we can all do as individuals is stay at home to stop the spread of the virus.  

Staying home is the best thing anyone who isn’t providing an essential service can do. Data from the University of Sydney demonstrates that the spread of COVID-19 can be slowed if people cut the vast majority of in-person interactions. That’s why we’ll be helping to share that crucial message, by reminding you to #StayHome on your phone with our new network name. 

This new network name will appear on Apple iOS devices only for now and may require a network change (e.g. moving from 3G to 4G) or a change in location to trigger it.  

To help support consumers and small businesses as we navigate this difficult time, we’vintroduced a range of initiatives including extra data for mobile and fixed broadband customers, and billing relief for those who need it. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Telstra (@telstra) on

Supporting small businesses through COVID-19

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Many small businesses across Australia are feeling the impacts of COVID-19. Australian small businesses are agile, we’ve always admired that about them, and we’ll see many of them adapt. But it’s important that the rest of Australia also gets behind them to support them through this challenging time. We’re showing our support by helping them adjust in a number of ways.

Read more about this story.

Issues with some voice calls connecting due to congestion

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

As more people work from home and schools close, we are seeing demand on our network increase daily and this will continue.

Overall mobile call volumes on certain routes and geographies are up by more than 50 per cent. Specific numbers to Government call centres are experiencing three times the call volumes compared to last week, and over 20 times the normal call volume.

As a result, we’re seeing congestion impacting a small proportion (3-4 per cent) of call on our mobile network, with most of the congestion being driven by the high number of calls to Government 13 and 1800 numbers. There is no impact on data as yet.

Working with Optus, we are also trying to fast-track upgrades to our interconnection capabilities which is contributing to this congestion and we are continuing to push for a resolution urgently with them.

Yesterday we made significant improvements to capacity and call routing on our network, which has allowed us to manage the significantly higher call volumes.

Delays getting in touch with us, and the best ways to get help

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Due to the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on our teams and partners in Australia and around the globe, we are prioritising our customer service activities toward maintaining critical services and keeping vulnerable customers connected. You will experience delays getting through to our customer service team and getting some issues fixed.

We understand how frustrating this is. We’re doing everything we can to find alternative solutions to improve things, but these are highly unusual circumstances, and this will take time.

Our call centres in Australia remain open, however with fewer people answering calls there are significant wait times. We are prioritising Medical Priority Assist, service faults and high-risk cases, so if your enquiry is not one of these, we ask that you please reconsider calling us at this time.

If your call is not urgent, please try one of the many self-service tools available on telstra.com.au, the Telstra 24×7 and My Telstra apps, or find answers in our Crowd Support community. We’ve created video guides to show how to use our apps to complete many common tasks like checking for an outage, troubleshooting issues with your service or managing your bills.

Placed an order with us recently?

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Whilst we may not be able to take your call right now, we are progressing your order and you can track it online. Have questions? Get help with how to track an order.

Telstra stores

The vast majority of our Telstra Stores are still open. You’re welcome to come in and talk with one of our team in person. Though, we ask that you only visit the store if you’re feeling well and do not meet any of the COVID-19 self-isolation criteria advised by the Australian Government.

nbn disconnections

With the support of nbn co and the ACCC, we have decided to temporarily pause the mandatory disconnections of customers from fixed networks under the nbn rollout.  This will ensure customers that have not yet moved to the nbn can remain connected at a time when staying in touch is more important than ever.

As new restrictions come into place in Australia and around the world it is likely there will be more changes to the way we work. We’ll continue to keep you up to date as we learn more and put alternative solutions in place where we can.

Thank you for your ongoing patience in what is a challenging time for us all.

Changes to some of our stores

Saturday, 21 March 2020

We have already taken a number of steps to help keep our customers connected through what is a challenging time for all of us. We’re adding to that by making some precautionary changes to how we run our Telstra Stores to ensure we can continue serving you through this period.

Read more on this story.

We’re putting job reductions on hold, bringing forward 5G investment and more to help the economy

Friday, 20 March 2020

In these extraordinary times, it is in the national interest for every company and individual to play a part in ensuring Australia comes through as strongly as possible. With that in mind, we are announcing a range of additional initiatives we can undertake now to help support the broader economy.

Read more about this story.

A message from Andy Penn, CEO

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Get immediate help and support from the Telstra apps

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on our customer service team, we’re prioritising calls from customers in most urgent need of help including Medical Priority Assist and high risk enquires.

We want to keep you supported and connected as best we can during this time.

Our Telstra 24×7 and My Telstra apps can help you look after your account. You can manage payments, monitor your usage, check for outages, track orders or troubleshoot issues with your broadband or mobile.

To make a purchase, visit telstra.com.au.

We may not be able to take your call

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Due to increased containment measures announced by the Philippines Government, Telstra’s contact centre workforce has been reduced. This means there are longer wait times for customers contacting us via phone or online messaging.

There is no impact to Triple Zero (000) emergency calls.

Our call centres across Australia and India continue to operate and take enquiries. We are prioritising Medical Priority Assist enquiries, as well as high risk cases. If your enquiry is not urgent and does not fall into one of these categories, please either contact us at another time, or you can self-service on Telstra.com.au or the Telstra 24×7 or My Telstra apps. We are providing further information on our website to assist you to manage other enquiries.

Our Telstra stores remain open for business, so you’re welcome to come in and speak to one of our team members. We take the safety of our people and customers very seriously and have robust hygiene standards in place in stores. We ask that our customers only visit the store if they’re feeling well and do not meet any COVID-19 self-isolation criteria advised by the Australian government, such as having recently returned from overseas or been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

We are working to increase our contact centre capacity in a number of ways including ramping up our working from home capabilities, increasing overtime and extra shifts for our Australian-based staff, and diverting sales calls to our stores. We know how frustrating this can be and that is why we are working to improve the situation, hoping to get to as many of you as possible. Thanks for your patience as we work through this.

Supporting our customers during COVID-19

Monday, 16 March 2020

As people around Australia increasingly begin working and studying from home or self-isolating as part of the national response to COVID-19 demand for connectivity is rising rapidly. To play our part, Telstra is giving our consumer and small business customers additional data as well as offering unlimited home phone calls to pensioners. We want to help our customers, who find themselves having to work from home, stay connected.

Read more about this story.

How to improve your work-from-home experience

Sunday, 15 March 2020

As we move our office-based teams to a work-from-home model, we’re all thinking about how to be most productive in a new environment. We’ve been working flexibly at Telstra for a while, and have rounded up five great tips from our team that might make your experience easier.

Read more about this story.

Taking the right precautions for COVID-19

Friday, 13 March 2020

As governments and agencies around the world move to contain COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we’re also taking the right precautions to look after the wellbeing of our people.

With global events now unfolding very quicklywe’ve made the decision to move to full work from home arrangements for Australian-based office staff effective next week. These arrangements will remain in place until the end of March at a minimum.

Read more about this story.

Our steps to reduce transmission of COVID-19

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Our number one priority is the wellbeing of our people and customers. That’s why we’re taking sensible steps to ensure that the risk of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) exposure is limited. From today, we’ll look to limit exposure and transmission of the virus in our stores. We’re posting notices at our doors asking customers to reconsider the need to enter if they are a potential carrier of COVID-19.

We’ll be asking that those who have been, or suspect to have been exposed to someone with or suspected to have COVID-19 to refrain from entering, and if urgent, to call us on 13 22 00 or engage with our online team at telstra.com.au instead.

Similarly, we’re also asking that customers who have travelled to or transited through a Category 1 country – such as mainland China, Iran, Italy, Japan, Mongolia and Korea – to also reconsider the need to enter and instead engage with our phone or online support teams.

We’ve also implemented new procedures for our Field Service Technicians to ensure they’re adequately protected.

Our Technicians will now call a customer or end-user on approach and ask a series of mandatory questions before attending the premises.

Technicians will ask if the customer is unwell and if they suspect they’ve been exposed to someone who has or suspects to have COVID-19. Technicians will also ask if the customer or end-user is currently in quarantine due to having had contact with someone suspected of or diagnosed with COVID-19.

If a customer answers yes to any of these questions, our technicians will try to fix the issue from outside and if they are unable to complete the job it will be rebooked for 14-days later (after the quarantine period is over). We will work with customers to provide interim devices or alternative solutions so people remain connected.

These new notices and procedures will reduce the risk of transmission to a member of our team or to another customer.

While these measures are precautionary, we want to ensure we’re doing everything possible to protect our people by following Australian Government guidelines on reducing transmission of COVID-19.

Supporting our people during COVID-19

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

We’re making sure we look out for our people throughout the evolving COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation. This includes new measures to minimise the risk of transmission, and additional support to reduce the potential financial burden for our people who may become impacted. So today we’re introducing a policy that will give our permanent, fixed-term and casual team members access to additional paid leave should they need to take time off work.

Read more about this story.

Telstra News |

Changes to some of our stores

By Fiona Hayes June 1, 2020

As COVID-19 restrictions ease in some states, most Telstra stores that were closed in March are set to re-open.

We have processes to help ensure social distancing continues in-store – such as floor markings and a limited number of people in-store at one time – and continues to have robust hygiene standards in place.  

You can check the list below to see if your local store will be open. To view operating hours, check the Telstra website 

‏‏‎ ‎

NSW – Now reopen

  • Burwood 
  • Broadway 
  • Blacktown 
  • Hurstville 
  • Macquarie Centre 
  • Liverpool 
  • Eastgardens
  • Chatswood
  • Mt Druitt

‏‏‎ ‎

QLD – Now reopen

  • Coomera 
  • Indooroopilly 
  • Pacific Fair 
  • Queens St (136) 
  • Browns Plains 
  • Loganholme
  • Mt Gravatt   

‏‏‎ ‎

WA – Now reopen

  • 140 William St 

‏‏‎ ‎

VIC – Now reopen

  • Melbourne Central
  • The Glen 
  • Doncaster 
  • Northland 2 
Telstra News |

Working conditions in our global operations

By Michael Ackland April 28, 2020

Like many companies, Telstra’s contact centre workforce has been significantly impacted by recent restrictions imposed by the Philippines Government in response to COVID-19. We have been working hard for some time now to minimise the impact on our employees, our partners’ employees and our customers.

We would like to provide the following information on our workforce in the Philippines by way of background to an ABC 7.30 story airing tonight.

Teleperformance conducts work for Telstra in the Philippines across a range of customer support activities including customer service inquiries, faults and live chat. We take our responsibility to ensure a safe working environment for Telstra employees extremely seriously and we expect our partners to do the same.

Following the implementation of Government containment measures in the Philippines last month, which included significant travel restrictions, Teleperformance arranged short term accommodation options for some of its workers onsite for people who were willing and able to continue working in those arrangements. As a result of this, in Teleperformance’s Mall of Asia office in Manila for example, the Telstra floor which normally has capacity for around 200 people to work, had around 30 people accommodated and working on site. Telstra is just one of many Teleperformance clients operating from the Mall of Asia office.

We have been in contact daily with Teleperformance as the COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded to ensure it has been meeting all health and safety requirements for its workers, as consistent with our Supplier Code of Conduct. This has included a minimum twice a day temperature check, onsite medical staff, strict social distancing requirements, disinfection and cleaning of onsite shower and bathroom facilities every two hours, disinfection and cleaning of the full site every three hours, and all meals provided.

Whilst Teleperformance does not operate any call centre work for Telstra out of Cebu (which was the subject of a recent Financial Times article), following the publication of the article we formally requested additional information and assurance from Teleperformance about their precautions during COVID-19.

Three weeks ago, we instructed Teleperformance that whilst we considered onsite accommodation suitable for the short-term, with the extension of the government’s quarantine arrangements, we instructed them to find suitable longer-stay arrangements (see our correspondence below). That has been completed, and there are no longer any partner employees operating on Telstra accounts being housed in onsite accommodation in the Philippines. Workers are now either back in their homes and commuting to work via shuttle bus or private transport, or they are being housed in hotel accommodation near offices. Under COVID-19, we operate our sites at an average of around 20% capacity so we remain well within the government guidelines for social distancing.

As the situation continues to evolve, we remain vigilant in ensuring that all necessary health and safety measures are in place for people who work on Telstra accounts.

Telstra News |

We’re adding 2500 more roles

By Alex Badenoch April 8, 2020

Today we announced we’re adding 2500 temporary roles to help better serve our customers and play a part in supporting employment in Australia during this unprecedented time. This is on top of the 1000 people we’re already recruiting, as well as other ways we’re mobilising our workforce to support our customer needs.

‏‏‎ ‎

A few weeks ago we said we would recruit 1000 temporary contact centre roles across six sites in Australia, including in some regional centres. We knew there would be demand, but we didn’t anticipate having more than 19,000 people apply. This shows there’s plenty of talent in the market and we’ve started to welcome some new team members with more to join us over the coming weeks.

Now, we’ll bring on another 2500 people and in more locations. Some of these roles will be directly employed by Telstra and others by our partners in Australia so we can get people on board as quickly as possible for our customers.

These new jobs will be a mix of contact centre and back of house specialist roles covering a range of activity like customer service, order provisioning and testing, as well as team leaders. In addition to the locations already advertised, we’re also looking for people in Newcastle, Perth and Sydney. But a lot of these roles will be flexible as many of our new recruits will be working from home so we’re absolutely open to having more people in regional Australia.

We’re also reaching out to our Alumni network who have some of the specific technical skills we need at this time, such as network engineering, software engineering, data and analytics.

To help us meet our customer service needs, we’re also redistributing work around our business where we can. For example, many of our stores are quieter than usual as Australians ‘stay home.’ So these teams are helping other customers when they’re quieter by interacting with customers through our digital messaging service, processing digital orders and checking in with our small business customers to see if they need our help with connectivity or service at this challenging time. Similarly, some of our techs are stepping out of the field and into our contact centres.

Using technology to recruit and train new team members

Processing and interviewing 19,000 applicants and making offers to the first group within two weeks has been possible through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the algorithm we’ve programmed specifically for these roles. All candidates complete two steps as part of the process:

  1. Record a video interview based on a series of behavioural questions. Our AI software converts the candidate’s spoken responses to text and reviews all answers against the required skills for these roles.
  2. A game-based cognitive test that measures candidates against the skills needed for the role.

The AI takes the information provided in the video interview and the cognitive skills game and categorises candidates based on an assessment score. Those in the top-tier progress directly to hiring managers for review, without the need to involve a recruiter. While those in the tier below go to a recruiter for further assessment.

This approach allows our hiring managers to review candidates at a time that suits them so they can continue to focus on delivering for our customers at this busy time.

Speed is only one of the benefits we’re realising from AI-aided recruitment. This process assesses the candidates in a standardised fashion, so any bias or subjectivity is removed from the process upfront. We’ve also seen a high satisfaction rate from candidates who prefer the simplicity and flexibility of the new process. They can complete the interview and assessment at a time that suits them, on a device that suits them.

Supporting our customers and the broader community

We want to be there for our customers and keep them connected as we all manage through this global pandemic. Expanding our team is one way we’re doing this, but it will take time for all our new recruits to be on board and fully trained. We appreciate your continued patience as we work to improve our call wait times and better help you with your enquiries.

Creating new jobs in a time where many businesses are standing employees down is an important way we can play our part in ensuring Australia’s economy comes through this pandemic as strongly as possible.

Telstra News |

Getting through COVID-19 together

By Andrew Penn March 20, 2020

In these extraordinary times, it is in the national interest for every company and individual to play a part in ensuring Australia comes through as strongly as possible. With that in mind, we are announcing a range of additional initiatives we can undertake now to help support the broader economy.

COVID-19 is having a profound impact on business across the country. Telstra already has more than 25,000 people successfully working from home and we are supporting many of our customers as they grapple with shifting to working and studying from home.

Supporting Australia’s economy

Firstly, for our people, we will be putting job reductions from our T22 change program on hold. While we will continue to focus on our productivity program to reduce underlying fixed costs by $2.5 billion annually by the end of FY22, we will not announce further job reductions over the next six months.

In fact, we will be adding to our team to help manage call centre volumes and better serve our customers during this time, by recruiting an additional 1000 temporary contractors in Australia.

We are also bringing forward $500 million of capital expenditure planned for the second-half of FY21 into calendar year 2020. This investment will increase capacity in our network and accelerate our roll out of 5G. This will inject much needed investment into our economy at this time.

On top of the existing assistance packages we have made available to our consumer and small business customers, we will also be pausing all late payment fees and disconnections for these customers until at least the end of April 2020 (at which point we will review further). This ensures those having difficulties paying their bill due to the impacts of COVID-19 will remain connected.

We will also be supporting our partners by automatically extending any sponsorships set to expire this year for another 12 months to provide certainty to partners and the many causes we support.

All of these measures are in addition to the others we have already announced, including the provision of unlimited data allowances on fixed broadband and extra mobile data for Telstra’s consumer and small business customers, and extra paid leave for Telstra employees and casuals.

Through these initiatives, we can play our part in the national response to this rapidly-evolving situation.

We continue to look at every aspect of our business to see what we can do for our employees, customers, suppliers and the economy more broadly, while we maintain a focus on long term value creation.

We continue to monitor the situation, while working closely with regulators and the government. Our absolute focus remains on team wellbeing, supporting our customers and playing our part in the national response.