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BHP acts to mitigate the effects of COVID-19

BHP has announced that it will reduce payment terms for small, local and indigenous businesses as part of a programme to support its communities and regional economies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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BHP has announced that it will reduce payment terms for small, local and indigenous businesses as part of a programme to support its communities and regional economies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The mining giant said it would make immediate payments of outstanding invoices. The accelerated payment programme is expected to deliver approximately A$100M more quickly into the hands of BHP’s small business partners.

 

The company will reduce payment terms from 30 days to seven days for more than 1,100 small Australian businesses.

 

“We are taking action to reduce the risk of transmission at our sites, in our offices and in our communities,” BHP CEO said Mike Henry.

 

“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.”

 

BHP has also created a A$6M 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.

 

BHP spends around A$1.5B annually with local Australian suppliers. A small business is defined as generating less than A$10M in revenue.

 

The revised payment terms arrangements will take effect next week. BHP said it would be contacting eligible small business partners with more information in coming days.

 

BHP has also announced that it will hire 1,500 additional people to support its workforce operating across Australia.

 

The 1,500 jobs will be offered as six-month contracts and cover a range of skills needed by BHP operations in the short term during the COVIS-19 outbreak.

 

“The roles will include machinery and production operators, truck and ancillary equipment drivers, excavator operators, diesel mechanics boilermakers, trades assistants, electricians, cleaners and warehousing roles across our coal, iron ore and copper operations in WA, QLD, NSW and SA,” the company stated.

 

Following the initial six-month contract, added BHP, it will look to offer permanent roles for some of these jobs. It will continue to assess this programme and said it may increase the number of jobs available.

 

“As part of BHP’s social distancing measures, we are introducing more small teams with critical skills to work dynamically across different shifts,” said BHP Edgar Basto, BHP’s acting president, Minerals Australia.

 

“The [Australian] government has said that resources industry is vital in Australia’s response to the global pandemic. We are stepping up and providing jobs and contracts. Our suppliers, large and small, play a critical role in supporting our operations. It is a tough time for our communities and the economy. We must look out for each other as we manage through this together.”

 

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