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Optus announces redundancies across Networks division

Optus' next wave of redundancies will hit its Networks business, with the union reporting 90 roles getting the axe.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor on

Optus has confirmed that it will be cutting jobs from its Networks division, with the Communications Workers Union (CWU) reporting the number of roles as being 90, with 40 percent at the managerial level.

Optus did not specify the number of roles that would be going, but attributed the redundancies to its "business transformation strategy".

"As part of Optus' business transformation strategy, we are reshaping our operations to ensure we have the right technologies and capabilities in place to deliver on our business goals," an Optus spokeswoman said.

"This involves continually reviewing our cost base, investing in the right technologies and infrastructure, and evolving the way we work.

"Last week, employees in the Networks division were updated on the strategy and advised that a number of roles will be made redundant. We are working with employees who are affected by these changes to ensure a smooth transition process."

According to the CWU's report, 69 roles will be axed in New South Wales; 14 in Victoria; six in Queensland; and one in Western Australia.

These latest job cuts follow Optus' announcement in April that it would be restructuring its Enterprise and Consumer divisions through a series of around 480 redundancies, with a "reshape" of its workforce planned in order to support its transformation into a multimedia company rather than a pure telecommunications carrier.

"Optus Business, and the Wholesale and Satellite divisions [will] rationalise roles and optimise resources in response to the increasingly competitive trading environment," Optus said at the time.

"These changes require Optus to reshape its workforce with the skills required in an increasingly digital world and to invest in the capabilities required to bring ideas to market more quickly. As a result, Optus is proposing to make a number of roles redundant."

Optus rationalised the process by saying it would allow it to become more streamlined and "innovative".

"These changes will create a structure that allows the business to operate as a highly integrated, innovative, and content-driven multi-media brand; streamline Optus' customer service functions, by simplifying systems and processes, multi-skilling front line staff across products and services, and resolving customer issues more quickly and with fewer handoffs; evolve the way we work so that Optus can bring new products, services and innovations to market more quickly; and enable Optus to reshape its workforce with the skills required in an increasingly digital world."

Under the restructure, Optus will also simplify its customer service and billing systems.

In July, Optus also said it is considering outsourcing back office roles across its HR and finance departments, although the resulting redundancies have yet to be revealed and would not occur until next year.

Optus had previously denied reports that it was planning to axe 1,000 jobs in the immediate future to help fund its English Premier League (EPL) exclusive broadcast deal.

The telco in November announced that it had won the exclusive Australian broadcast rights to the English Premier League for the next three seasons beginning August 2016, paying an unknown amount to take the most-watched football league worldwide away from pay TV provider Foxtel's Fox Sports.

Rival telecommunications provider Telstra also confirmed on Monday that it is considering cutting 53 roles across its fibre installation design team to be offset by the creation of nine new roles, due to shifting the locale of its design centres.

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