Trans and gender-diverse staff of supermarket chain Coles will be entitled to up to 10 days of paid gender affirmation leave.

The grocery giant announced the move on Wednesday, the day after International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia.

“We know that we have at least 900 team members who identify as transgender or gender diverse,” Coles Chief Legal and Safety Officer and chair of the company’s Pride Steering Committee David Brewster said in a statement.

“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.”

The Coles executive team approved the leave and it is available to all permanent full time and part time staff who choose to undergo gender affirmation surgery to change their physical and sexual characteristics to better align with their identity.

Casual employees will have access to unpaid gender affirmation leave.

The company has about 124,000 employees and now has pride committees in every state.


It has also signed up as an official partner of Pride Cup Australia, which promotes inclusivity and diversity in sport.

Woolworths introduced two weeks paid and two weeks unpaid affirmation leave in 2021.

“It’s fantastic that the other of the two major supermarket companies are supporting their trans and gender diverse staff,” Apple Jack Freshwater Brown from Trans Pride Australia told AAP.

“This encourages people from the company to apply because they know they are in a well-supported workplace environment.”