£225m error | Firm faces whopping bill after underpaying 28,500 staff for 13 years

Firm faces whopping bill after underpaying 28,500 staff for 13 years

A mining giant has revealed it underpaid more than 28,000 employees over a 13 year period and is now facing a bill to the equivalent of £225million to fix the problem.

BHP Group, the world’s largest listed mining company which is based in Australia, said a preliminary review suggests that certain rostered employees across its Aussie operations have had leave incorrectly deducted on public holidays since 2010. 

In addition, BHP has identified that approximately 400 current and former employees are entitled to additional allowances due to an error with the employment entity in their contract.

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There are approximately 28,500 affected current and former employees with an average of six leave days in total that have been incorrectly deducted from affected employees over this 13 year period. 

Initial investigations also suggest that OZ Minerals was affected by a similar leave deduction issue before being acquired by BHP in May 2023.

The company said the cost of solving the issue adds up to a whopping US$280 million pre tax (est £225m).

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In a statement, Geraldine Slattery, BHP’s President for Australia said: “We are sorry to all current and former employees impacted by these errors. This is not good enough and falls short of the standards we expect at BHP. 

“We are working to rectify and remediate these issues, with interest, as quickly as possible.”

BHP said it was in the process of contacting affected current and former employees regarding remediation as soon as possible, and that a dedicated hotline and website would be established to provide assistance. 

The firm has also self-reported to the nation’s Fair Work Ombudsman.

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