BHP Billiton has pre-empted the Federal Government and introduced a standardised minimum period of paid parental leave in a bid to attract and retain employees, a spokesperson for the company told MINING DAILY.
From 1 July 2009, a minimum of 18 weeks paid parental leave will be provided to all employees upon the birth or adoption of a child.
According to the company, the leave benefits can also be split between parents if both work for BHP Billiton.
“We are hoping that the parental leave will contribute to increasing the diversity in our workforce. It is going to give us a competitive edge in the market place for attracting and retaining employees,” the spokesperson said.
BHP Billiton Chief People Officer Karen Wood said key features of the new system were equality and flexibility.
“In developing the paid parental leave system, we wanted to ensure there was equity between how we treated parents who adopted children and others,” Wood said.
“We also want to recognise the different ways people manage their childcare. So we have created a policy that enables either parent to qualify for paid parental leave, as long as they are the primary carer.”
From 2011 all companies will be forced to adopt the paid parental leave program which will be officially unveiled in tomorrow’s federal budget.