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Union win: ‘A relief for young families’

August 23, 2022

Apprentices and trainees employed by BHP Coal can now access paid parental leave in an important win fought for by our union in Queensland.

BHP’s parental leave policy said that as fixed term employees, apprentices and trainees were not eligible for paid parental leave.

The MEU, jointly with CEPU and the AMWU, lodged a dispute with the Fair Work Commission for an apprentice at Blackwater mine who had been denied paid parental leave. Unions argued that apprentices and trainees were eligible for paid parental leave because they are covered by the BMA Central Enterprise Agreement, which provides for paid parental leave.

In a settled agreement BHP Coal has agreed to extend paid parental leave to apprentices and trainees.

The matter was resolved by BHP agreeing to provide paid parental leave to existing trainees and apprentices and recognise prior applications for leave entitlements that were rejected back to May 2018.

Blackwater Lodge Secretary Jenna Saunders said it was a great win.

“Men and women welcoming babies into the family shouldn’t miss out on paid parental leave simply because they are trainees or apprentices. This decision will come as a relief for many young families. It’s a win we are very proud of.”

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