BHP's vaccine mandate under review: report

Roughly 700 workers removed from jobs after policy took effect

BHP's vaccine mandate under review: report

Mining giant BHP is currently reviewing its vaccine mandate, according to reports, as the impact of COVID-19 in workplaces continue to decline.

A spokesperson from the BHP confirmed to the Australian Financial Review (AFR) that the company’s health and safety measures are based on scientific evidence and health advice.

"Current health science shows a significantly reduced risk of serious illness from COVID-19, therefore, we are reviewing our vaccination requirements in Australia. We are consulting with our workforce as part of this review," they said.

The Mining and Energy Union is also involved with the decision, according to the report, but they have declined to comment until the matter is settled.

BHP's vaccine mandate

BHP first enforced its vaccine mandate on January 31, 2022, requiring employees to get vaccinated as a condition of entry to the company's sites and offices.

The policy saw about two per cent of its then-40,000 workforce removed because of the policy, according to the AFR report.

It was also met with legal challenges from unions, with the Fair Work Commission ruling against the vaccine mandate of BHP in New South Wales, citing the lack of consultation with employees.

The company initially cited the COVID-19 situation when it introduced the policy. The current review of the regulation comes as the threat of COVID-19 continue to dwindle.

In Victoria, where BHP is headquartered, there were a total of 4,912 cases between January 13 and 19, according to official government data. The state has also ruled that employers can only implement mandatory vaccination requirements if they meet the consultation and industrial requirements under relevant laws.

Fellow resources giant Rio Tinto has also scrapped its mandatory jab policy for employees, the Australian Mine Safety Journal (AMSJ) reported, citing the decision of Western Australia to lift vaccine mandates.

"To align with the government, COVID-19 vaccination will no longer be required for people attending West Angelas operations and all other Rio Tinto operations effective 10 June 2022," said general manager Mark Townson as quoted by the AMSJ

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