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Travel company encourages employees to skip work (with pay) to attend climate strike

Intrepid Travel employees are being encouraged to take paid time off to attend the Global Climate Strike on Friday.

The company, which employs over 2000 people, made the announcement the week after the Victorian Greens made a failed push for public servants to get the day off to attend the rally.

Leigh Barnes, Chief Purpose Officer at Intrepid Travel, said the protest is for an important cause.

“We’re giving staff the opportunity to attend the protest, to go along and lend their voice to it, and that will be on full pay,” he told 3AW’s Tom Elliott.

“Climate change is something that’s really important to Intrepid.

“We know we’re in the travel sector and we need to ensure that we have a healthy planet.”

Tom Elliott questioned how a travel company, which profits off polluting air travel, can take a stand against climate change.

“We know that flying contributes large quantities of carbon and we’re doing things we can to reduce the amount of carbon our trips create and also providing offsetting on our products,” Mr Barnes said.

The travel company became carbon neutral in 2010.

It’s not the first time the company has encouraged its employees to become involved in social and environmental causes.

Intrepid Travel also publicly supported marriage equality, and has taken a stand against modern slavery.

But Mr Barnes said employees won’t be paid to attend any protest of their choosing.

“This is a particularly special case,” he said.

“There is obviously a limit.

“We’re going to get out there and support particular causes, but it’s not going to be a free for all.”

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