BHP has warned investors dividends will suffer under the Albanese government’s “same job same pay” agenda, which the miner expects will strip more than $1.3 billion from its annual earnings based on a conservative reading of the bill, equivalent to 5000 jobs.
The nation’s biggest company vowed to “continue to argue the case” against the policy while seeking to mobilise support from its army of direct and indirect shareholders on Monday, which it estimated at close to 17 million Australians.
BHP’s chief financial officer David Lamont. Carla Gottgens
But Workplace minister Tony Burke signalled he was up for the fight with BHP and its income hungry investors, saying that most companies did not rely on the sort of “loopholes” that had allowed BHP to pay some workers less than colleagues who perform the same task at the same mine.
BHP is vulnerable to the government’s proposed “Closing Loopholes” amendment to the Fair Work Act because it employs about 4500 maintenance and production workers through its “Operations Services” subsidiaries, which typically pay lower wages than the BHP subsidiaries that directly own the company’s mines.
The bill seeks to ensure workers employed under structures like BHP’s Operations Services get the same pay as colleagues on different workplace agreements. It is expected to affect companies like Downer, Qantas and Airtasker.
BHP warned in May that the policy would increase its costs by $1.3 billion a year, a claim that was dismissed by the government in the explanatory memorandum attached to the bill when it was tabled in parliament on September 4.
But on Monday, BHP chief financial officer David Lamont said the $1.3 billion estimate was probably conservative given the bill was broader thanRead more on afr.com