Rio Tinto adopts global paid parental leave standard

21 September 2017

Rio Tinto will implement a new global minimum standard for paid parental leave for all employees. The standard provides 18 weeks of paid parental leave at full pay following the birth or adoption of a child. 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. The global standard was announced today at an employee town-hall at Rio Tinto’s Kennecott integrated mine and smelter operations outside Salt Lake City, Utah.

Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said "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. 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."

Rio Tinto’s new paid parental leave minimum standard will be effective in the United States starting on 1 October 2017 and will be phased in for employees across the globe during 2018 in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.

Notes to Editors

The new minimum standard:

  • 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