Rio Tinto unveils paid parental leave standard

Copyright © 2017 Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto will implement a new global minimum standard for paid parental leave for its entire workforce from next month.

The standard will provide 18 weeks of paid parental leave at full pay following the birth or adoption of a child.

According to Rio, to allow new parents maximum flexibility, 18 weeks’ leave will be granted to an employee designated as the child’s primary caregiver – it is not gender specific.

Employees who elect to be the secondary caregiver will receive one week paid leave in the first year following birth or adoption. Employees taking paid parental leave can focus on family duties knowing their job will be protected while they’re away, Rio added.

Rio chief executive officer Jean-Sébastien Jacques said the approach reflected the company’s values, particularly a focus on the wellbeing of its people and improving the workforce’s diversity.

“To attract and retain the best people we need to provide a work environment that supports all families and offers new parents flexibility regarding early childcare choices,” Jacques said.

“In many countries, such as the United States, this is a significant improvement over legal requirements and practices of multinational peers.”

Rio’s new paid parental leave minimum standard will be effective in the US from October 1 and will be phased in for employees across the globe during 2018, in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.

The new minimum standard (source: Rio Tinto):

  • Is available to both full time employees and qualified employees on fixed-term contracts and applies to employees who have a child through birth or adoption
  • Is gender neutral and is available to all families, irrespective of relationship status
  • Provides one week of paid leave to secondary care givers in the first year following birth or adoption
  • Individuals who give birth but choose to be the secondary care giver will receive paid medical leave under their relevant benefit plans
  • Employees taking paid parental leave can focus on family duties knowing their job will be protected while they’re away
  • Is a global minimum standard. There will be no reduction in benefits in countries where current paid parental leave benefits meet or exceed the minimum standard.