Major miners Whitehaven Coal and Rio Tinto have announced changes to their paid parental leave policies, enabling new parents to spend more time with their young children.
Rio Tinto will provide 18 weeks of paid leave for both primary and secondary carers — regardless of gender — and make superannuation payments to them for up to a year.
Rio will allow its staff to take leave at the same time as their partner, or separately, following the birth or adoption of a child, even if they are both employed by the company.
The decision to continue paying superannuation for 12 months will be worth $6500 for a worker on a salary of $100,000 and up to $15,000 over the lifetime of their superannuation growth depending on retirement age.
The new benefits will be effective from June 13 this year.
Whitehaven Coal’s changes have increased paid parental leave from 18 weeks to an industry-leading 26 weeks for the primary caregiver, including superannuation contributions that will also be paid on the unpaid portion of an employee’s parental leave.
The secondary caregiver will receive two weeks of paid parental leave including superannuation contributions.
Whitehaven’s changes, which came into effect this week, are part of the company’s ongoing commitment to fostering the wellbeing of employees and their families.
Whitehaven Coal managing director and chief executive officer Paul Flynn said the policy changes are an exciting and important move that will have a significant positive impact for new parents.
“Whitehaven has always strived to be an industry leader when it comes to looking after its people and I’m incredibly proud of the way we support and respect each other in the workplace,” Flynn said.
“We know balancing work and family commitments can be a challenge in any workplace, but this policy recognises the important role our company can play in helping working parents when children are little.”
According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, employers in the mining and resources sector have made some of the biggest improvements in offering paid parental leave over the last eight years, with 78 per cent of workplaces in 2020-2021 offering paid parental leave to the primary carer above and beyond the Federal Government’s mandated 18 weeks.