Four months paid maternal leave for St Barbara employees

By: PNG Business News April 06, 2022

Photo credit: PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum

To fulfill its commitment to diversity and inclusion, St Barbara, operator of Simberi gold mine in New Ireland, has announced a generous parental leave package for its employees.

Women staff can now take four months fully paid maternity leave to recover from pregnancy and childbirth while bonding with their babies while the men are entitled to 15 days paid paternity leave. Employees only must complete their six month-probation to be entitled to the parental leave.

It is believed, the four-month fully paid maternity leave incentive is the first of its kind in Papua New Guinea and both men and women employees are applauding St Barbara for introducing the ground-breaking policy.

Some employees who have successfully completed their probation are already benefiting from the scheme while others like accounts clerk Sainian Wurlima looks forward to making the most of the opportunity when her turn comes.

Sainian, who has been working at the Simberi operation since 2009, is five months away from having her third baby and is overwhelmed by the good news.

“I am very grateful for this incentive. On behalf of my family, I say a big thank you to St Barbara for giving recognition to us, women employees, and understanding the challenges we go through in juggling our motherly role and career,” said a very happy Sainian who flies to the mine to work from Kokopo in East New Britain.

“It is a great incentive for mothers and babies, especially those with complications. I believe it is a first in PNG and I say how lucky my women colleagues are for being employed by St Barbara,” said accountant and local Tabar islander Paskalis Maradangoi.

Payroll officer Margaret Kupo described the parental leave as a unique advantage for mothers and dads and reminded her colleagues to give back to the company in return.

“Our company has given us women a unique blessing. I call on fellow women staffers to enjoy it, but not abuse it,” said Margaret.

“Once you return to work after four months of resting and bonding with your babies, do your part by remaining committed to your work and giving it your best.”

St Barbara, an ASX 200 company, is the only Australian mining company to be recognised as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality by Australia’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).

The company has received this citation for seven consecutive years running and is an initial signatory to the WGEA Pay Equity Pledge.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Craig Jetson says the latest citation confirms the Company’s commitment to addressing pay equity and ensuring gender equality in recruitment, promotions, and reward and recognition.

“I feel privileged to have joined a company that is leading the mining industry when it comes to gender equality. As the only mining company to receive the citation again this year, I strongly encourage more resource companies to participate in the WGEA Employer of Choice program to discover the benefits diversity brings to innovation, engagement and performance.”

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