MINING: BHP announces coronavirus support for workers, small business. Picture: Tessa Mapstone / South Burnett Times
MINING: BHP announces coronavirus support for workers, small business. Picture: Tessa Mapstone / South Burnett Times

Miner announces coronavirus support for contract labour hire

A MINING giant has revealed it will offer support for local business and contract labour hire during the coronavirus pandemic.

BHP has created a $6 million fund to support its labour hire companies and their employees. The fund will be used for one-off payments for people quarantined after entering Australia and pay for labour hire employees not entitled to sick leave but affected by COVID-19.

It comes after the CFMEU delivered a list of demands it wanted mining and labour hire companies to follow to protect mine workers in the wake of the pandemic.

The union wrote to companies seeking assurances that all mine workers, including casual labour hire, would have access to paid leave if they are sick or required to self-isolate.

BHP also announced it would reduce payment terms for small, local and indigenous businesses as part of a program to support its communities and regional economies during the pandemic.

It will make immediate payments of outstanding invoices, with the company saying it expected the move to deliver about $100 million quickly into the hands of its small business partners.

BHP will reduce payment terms to seven days (from 30 days) for more than 1100 small Australian businesses.

BHP chief executive Mike Henry said looking after the wellbeing and safety of its people, communities and partners was the highest priority.

"We are taking action to reduce the risk of transmission at our sites, in our offices and in our communities," Mr Henry said.

"Our local and small business partners play a critical role in supporting our operations and our people, and we know this is a very difficult time for them.

"We must look out for each other as we manage through this together."

The revised payment terms arrangements will take effect next week.

BHP will contact eligible small business partners with more information in coming days.


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