Rio Tinto implementing new 18 week minimum standard for paid parental leave

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Rio Tinto employees. Stock image courtesy

SALT LAKE CITY — Rio Tinto announced they will be implementing a new minimum standard for paid parental leave that includes 18 weeks of paid leave for primary caregivers after the birth or adoption of a child.

Rio Tinto announced the new standard Thursday at an employee town-hall outside of Salt Lake City at Rio Tinto’s Kennecott integrated mine and smelter operations, a press release states.

Employees who are designated a child’s primary caregiver are allowed 18 weeks of paid parental leave. The leave is not gender specific. Employees who elect to be a “secondary caregiver” are eligible for one week of paid leave in the first year following birth or adoption.

“This new approach reflects our values as a company, particularly our focus on the wellbeing of our people and improving the diversity of our workforce,” Rio Tinto Chief Executive J-S Jacques stated in the press release. “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. In many countries, such as the United States, this is a significant improvement over legal requirements and practices of multinational peers.”

The new standard will go into effect for Rio Tinto employees in the US beginning October 1 of 2017. The standard will be phased in for employees around the world during 2018 “in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.”

The company says the leave is available to both full-time employees and qualified employees who are on fixed-term contracts and applies to employees who have a child through birth or through adoption. They say the leave is gender neutral and available to all families “irrespective of relationship status.”

Employees who give birth but choose to be a secondary care giver will receive paid medical leave under their relevant benefit plans, the company states.

Because this is a global minimum standard, Rio Tinto says there will be no reduction in benefits in those countries where paid parental leave benefits already meet or exceed the new minimum standard.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.