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BHP refuses to see men as primary carers


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#26 niggles

Posted 14 February 2015 - 07:07 AM

I didn't realise they were the same thing. So you think they were trying to use that to take a couple of weeks off? I can see why that's an issue. The article writes it as some sort of technicality. That is straightforward.

#27 Hands Up

Posted 14 February 2015 - 07:14 AM

The title of this thread is really misleading. BHP is saying that you can't have two primary carers at the same time. Not that men can't be primary carers. Secondary carers who work for big companies generally get 1-2 weeks off, then you can take annual leave on top of that. I can understand them not wanting to set a precedent by granting their full parental leave. I'm not surprised at the ruling.

#28 KT1978

Posted 14 February 2015 - 08:37 AM

I agree you shouldn't have two primary carers, but there should be discretion used for premature or traumatic births where the female also needs care.

Considering though, this mainly impacts on workers earning $150,000+ I don't see it as being the biggest workplace issue to get behind. From my experience in that industry, look at why 90% of operations are high earning men while 90% of the administration are low earning females. Then look at roles like scheduling/procurement and logistics - when done by a man on a mine site are high paying, but when they are done by a female in an office they are "basic admin". Frequently used to see this done as cost saving.  That's a bigger issue IMO.

#29 SeaPrincess

Posted 14 February 2015 - 09:23 AM

View Postniggles, on 14 February 2015 - 06:42 AM, said:

It's hard to conclude anything from this article because of the ambiguity of 'primary carers leave'.
That's what BHP call their parental leave, and it was widely publicised using this term when they announced it would be 18 weeks.

View PostKT1978, on 14 February 2015 - 08:37 AM, said:

I agree you shouldn't have two primary carers, but there should be discretion used for premature or traumatic births where the female also needs care.
And there is, at least in our experience, and that of others I know who work for these large multi-national companies. But setting a precedent by allowing for 2 primary carers isn't it.

#30 maryanneK

Posted 14 February 2015 - 07:59 PM

View Postniggles, on 13 February 2015 - 12:54 PM, said:

If the men had been working there for more than 12 months then they would be entitled to 2 weeks at full pay from their employer. That's the minimum an employer can provide after 12 months.  Before 12 months it's 2 weeks minimum wage from the government.

what do you mean by this?? there's no minimum entitlement to 2 weeks paid leave for fathers/paternity leave ?

#31 knottygirl

Posted 14 February 2015 - 09:03 PM

It's fairly common these days rather than maternity / paternity leave to word it as parental leave. I think it's assumed, seeing as she is the one to give birth, that the primary carer defaults to the mother. If the father is the primary carer then it up to him to prove that the mother is not the primary carer.  I don't see the controversy, just seems like a media beat up to me.  I don't think that we should start allowing 2 primary carers just because of a Caesar.

#32 niggles

Posted 14 February 2015 - 09:34 PM

View PostmaryanneK, on 14 February 2015 - 07:59 PM, said:



what do you mean by this?? there's no minimum entitlement to 2 weeks paid leave for fathers/paternity leave ?

Yeah sorry Ive got that totally wrong there. It's actually 3 weeks unpaid dads and partnets are entitled to take at the same time as their spouse, within 6 weeks after the birth. But only entitled to this leave after 12 months with their employer. They can then claim 2 weeks pay from the government for that time. But if Dad hasn't been working there 12 months he may not be granted leave and so can't claim the payment.

#33 JomoMum

Posted 14 February 2015 - 09:37 PM

Hmm.. It is confusing. And this sucks for those two dads.

DH works for a BHP owned company. He took a week of employer paid parental leave when DS was born then 3 weeks annual leave.

When DS had surgery, DH got a med cert from the surgeon and got a week of paid carers leave to help me.

#34 niggles

Posted 14 February 2015 - 09:42 PM

https://www.dss.gov....and-partner-pay

My read of this is that partners are entitled to 3 weeks unpaid leave at the same time as their spouse.  So the law already has some provision for 2 primary carers. It just doesn't have to be paid because it's derived from the same 12months unpaid leave everyone's entitled to after 12 months employment.  Most of that has to be used by one or the other parent but 3 weeks can be taken concurrently.

#35 Renovators delight

Posted 14 February 2015 - 10:14 PM

At my work (federal govt) currently partners can take 2 weeks parental leave PLUS access up to two weeks of carers leave in relation to a new child arriving in the family. The attempts at negotiating a new agreement are trying to drop the access to up to 2 weeks carers leave.

I find this really difficult. Certainly after my caesarean birth I was incapable of caring for our toddler. I was the carer for the child that had arrived in our family though. In the spirit of things, DP would not have had access to leave. As it was, he had taken a week of rec leave and two weeks of unpaid leave so he could get the govt Dad and Partner Pay (more than his wage at the time ;))

Really, our workplaces need far better access to personal/carers leave to allow for these sorts of situations.

#36 Quay11

Posted 14 February 2015 - 10:42 PM

View Posttidey2, on 13 February 2015 - 04:37 PM, said:

I have the opposite problem. I work in a male dominated workplace. Just found out there is a Paternity Leave Policy offering 2 weeks paid leave but there is no Paid Maternity Leave Policy. I dont even get 2 weeks paid mat leave.

I had an issue and found I could negotiate on paid maternity leave in a male dominated career:

1. It is good PR for the company to state paid maternity leave.

2. It can help attract (or not put off) women from working there - and many male dominated fields have been trying to increase female participation in their workforce.

3. It is very very cheap for the company to do this as there are very few women and the chance of having to pay it to any individual woman between the ages of 20-45 was something like 5%...  (can't remember the source).

It was definitely worth my while pursuing this with HR - and pursuing the HR director when the HR manager said 'no'.

#37 MiSS_E

Posted 15 February 2015 - 02:07 AM

Where are all these companies that pay all this leave?? At my DH's workplace, if you want leave you have to get permission to take it but you don't get paid for it, ever. Not when sick, caring for someone or holidaying in the Bahamas. He only gets paid while he's at work. Has been like that at all his employers so far.

#38 SplashingRainbows

Posted 15 February 2015 - 04:47 AM

MiSS E is he casual? Only casuals in Australia don't get paid leave.

Any permanent (or permanent part time) employee is entitled to paid annual, personal (also covers carers) and long service (if worked long enough) leave.

#39 Beeeeeez

Posted 15 February 2015 - 06:11 AM

View PostSplashingRainbows, on 15 February 2015 - 04:47 AM, said:

MiSS E is he casual? Only casuals in Australia don't get paid leave.

Any permanent (or permanent part time) employee is entitled to paid annual, personal (also covers carers) and long service (if worked long enough) leave.

Absolutely agree with this, but also some contract jobs employee are also entitled to those as well.

#40 MiSS_E

Posted 15 February 2015 - 01:38 PM

No he's permanent full time.

#41 Beeeeeez

Posted 15 February 2015 - 01:50 PM

View PostMiSS_E, on 15 February 2015 - 01:38 PM, said:

No he's permanent full time.

Somehow I dont think thats legal...

#42 123tree

Posted 15 February 2015 - 01:50 PM

View PostFomoJnr, on 14 February 2015 - 09:37 PM, said:

Hmm.. It is confusing. And this sucks for those two dads.



While agree with this I really feel like the whole sentence should read "Sucks for those families".

I get so fed up with the idea that parental leave and child care etc are women's issues when they are really family issues.

#43 Chic'N'Stu

Posted 15 February 2015 - 01:52 PM

View PostMiSS_E, on 15 February 2015 - 02:07 AM, said:

Where are all these companies that pay all this leave?? At my DH's workplace, if you want leave you have to get permission to take it but you don't get paid for it, ever. Not when sick, caring for someone or holidaying in the Bahamas. He only gets paid while he's at work. Has been like that at all his employers so far.

Yikes, I'd say that's worth getting in touch with the Fair Work Commission. Have a look at their website for the minimum amounts and conditions required for annual and sick/carers leave.

#44 aBabye

Posted 15 February 2015 - 06:13 PM

View PostMiSS_E, on 15 February 2015 - 02:07 AM, said:

Where are all these companies that pay all this leave?? At my DH's workplace, if you want leave you have to get permission to take it but you don't get paid for it, ever. Not when sick, caring for someone or holidaying in the Bahamas. He only gets paid while he's at work. Has been like that at all his employers so far.

My DH received 2 weeks paid leave from his employer. This was not primary carers leave (I was primary carer) but it enabled him to be home for 2 weeks when we brought DS home.

#45 *Arcadia*

Posted 15 February 2015 - 06:37 PM

Miss E is he employed through an agency? I had permanent full time hours but was employed through an agency so got no leave entitlements. I think the definition was independent contractor and they got away with it as the company I was working at provided all the equipment not my employer who was the agency.

#46 Pocket...

Posted 15 February 2015 - 06:43 PM

We're so lucky that DP'S company is so family focused. After my c section with ds he got a doctors note stating that he would need to care for ME as I had had major abdominal surgery, had nothing to do with who cared for ds. This meant he got time off work to help with MY recovery paid as carers leave not annual leave.

Same will go if I need another c section, planned or emergency.

Family problem, offer to get them home. death of someone, offer to fly them home. Bush fire, get them home. etc etc.

It makes sense anyway, distracted people are more dangerous. Why would you want them there?!

#47 lizzzard

Posted 15 February 2015 - 07:02 PM

I read this differently to a lot of people and felt that BHP was hugely in the wrong:

1. Mother is incapacitated (due to C-section) and therefore unable to work (or care for baby). She therefore takes sick leave, NOT carers leave.
2. Father takes parental leave for the duration that the mother is incapacitated (however long the doctors provides a certificate for)
3. When well again, mother reverts to parental leave and father has to go back to work.


In this interpretation, BHP is basically arguing that even if the mother is in a coma she is still deemed to be the primary carer of their baby instead of the father... Doesn't pass the common sense test to me.

#48 Beeeeeez

Posted 15 February 2015 - 08:03 PM

View Postlizzzard, on 15 February 2015 - 07:02 PM, said:

I read this differently to a lot of people and felt that BHP was hugely in the wrong:

1. Mother is incapacitated (due to C-section) and therefore unable to work (or care for baby). She therefore takes sick leave, NOT carers leave.
2. Father takes parental leave for the duration that the mother is incapacitated (however long the doctors provides a certificate for)
3. When well again, mother reverts to parental leave and father has to go back to work.


In this interpretation, BHP is basically arguing that even if the mother is in a coma she is still deemed to be the primary carer of their baby instead of the father... Doesn't pass the common sense test to me.

Absolutely agree with you, unfortunately BHP doesnt have much common sense...

#49 SeaPrincess

Posted 15 February 2015 - 10:43 PM

It went to the Fair Work Commission, so you're both interpreting it quite differently from how the governing body interpreted the situation. Nothing to do with common sense, and as I said before, this is only news because it's BHP.

I've lived in mining towns off and on since I was 10, and there is always an expectation that the company will pay, including for things that people wouldn't dream of asking other employers to pay for.

Edited by SeaPrincess, 15 February 2015 - 10:46 PM.


#50 Bam1

Posted 16 February 2015 - 12:27 AM

View Postlizzzard, on 15 February 2015 - 07:02 PM, said:

I read this differently to a lot of people and felt that BHP was hugely in the wrong:

1. Mother is incapacitated (due to C-section) and therefore unable to work (or care for baby). She therefore takes sick leave, NOT carers leave.
2. Father takes parental leave for the duration that the mother is incapacitated (however long the doctors provides a certificate for)
3. When well again, mother reverts to parental leave and father has to go back to work.


In this interpretation, BHP is basically arguing that even if the mother is in a coma she is still deemed to be the primary carer of their baby instead of the father... Doesn't pass the common sense test to me.

This all supposes that the mother was working but the article did not make that clear but nowhere in the article did it state that she was on any leave, just that she was primary carer.

If a SAHP gets sick, they still remain the primary carer, the partner would then take carer's leave or annual leave to look after partner and kids.

I'm not sure why the men thought that parental leave was the leave to apply for here.

I don't think a C-section incapacitates you as a coma does but certainly some leave should have been allowed.




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