BHP Group said on Thursday it had underpaid nearly 29,000 of its Australian workers for leave and other entitlements over a 13-year period which it estimated would cost it $280 million before tax to fix.
The world’s biggest listed miner said it had reported itself to the country’s labour regulator and it had contracted an independent company to review its payroll systems. It will provide an update with its full year results in August.
Initial investigations suggest that workers at OZ Minerals were affected by a similar leave deduction issue before the copper miner was acquired by BHP in May 2023, it added.
BHP President of Australia Geraldine Slattery issued an apology to affected workers.
“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,” she said in a statement.
The company said it had incorrectly deducted leave on public holidays since 2010 for an average of six leave days in total per person for the vast majority of current and former workers, or about 28,500 people.
BHP has also identified that around 400 current and former employees at its Port Hedland iron ore operations are entitled to additional allowances due to an error with the employment entity in their contract.
BHP said the estimated sum reflected its share of the costs that included pension and interest payments.
(By Melanie Burton; Editing by Sonali Paul)