Today Telstra announced a series of new initiatives to help support their customers, employees, partners, and the broader economy as we all face the impact of COVID-19.
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, Telstra has announced a range of additional initiatives where they can undertake now to help support the broader economy.
COVID-19 is having a profound impact on businesses 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 their people, they will be putting job reductions from their T22 change program on hold. While they will continue to focus on our productivity program to reduce underlying fixed costs by $2.5 billion annually by the end of FY22, they will not announce further job reductions over the next six months.
In fact, Telstra will be adding to their team to help manage call centre volumes and better serve our customers during this time, by recruiting an additional 1000 temporary contractors in Australia.
They are also bringing forward $500 million of capital expenditure planned for the second half of FY21 into the 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 they have made available to their consumer and small business customers, they will also be pausing all late payment fees and disconnections for these customers until at least the end of April 2020 (at which point they will review further). This ensures those having difficulties paying their bill due to the impacts of COVID-19 will remain connected.
Telstra 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 they 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, they can play their part in the national response to this rapidly-evolving situation.
Telstra will continue to look at every aspect of their business to see what they can do for their employees, customers, suppliers, and the economy more broadly, while they maintain a focus on long term value creation.