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Telstra to hire 1,000, pause job cuts

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 24:  A Testra logo seen on a retail space in Sydney's CBD on July 24, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. Telstra's Global Services Devision will be moving 463 existing Telstra roles and 208 contractor jobs to India. Telstra staff were officially informed of the decision yesterday afternoon.  (Photo by James Alcock/Getty Images)
Telstra has announced a plan to boost the Australian economy. Image: Getty

Telstra (TLS.AX) will recruit 1,000 temporary contractors to work in its call centres and suspend late payment fees for businesses until the end of April as it pledges to support the economy.

The telecommunications giant will also put on hold any further job reductions for the next six months, it said in a statement today. In its first-half results last month, the telco said it had completed 6,900 of its slated 8,000 job cuts announced in June 2018.

“We are looking 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,” Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said.

“The most important thing is that as many businesses as possible are still here when we get through this crisis.”

Telstra will also spend $500 million on projects throughout the year to boost network capacity, accelerate 5G roll out and employ workers.

It said it will also extend any sponsorships set to expire this year for another 12 months to help its partners and causes.

“COVID-19 is having a profound impact on business across the country. At Telstra we already have 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,” Penn said.

“It is at times like these that big business can show leadership and make a contribution to the national response and that is what we at Telstra are doing.”

Telstra previously announced it would provide unlimited data on fixed broadband for consumer and business customers and extra data for mobile customers.

Coles recently announced it would hire 5,000 Australians to battle heightened demand, after selling the equivalent of three Christmases of products. However, 36,000 Australians applied, as companies like Qantas make staff temporarily redundant.

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