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BHP has raised concerns that the proposed ‘same job, same pay’ bill will affect more workers in the mining industry than anticipated.

This isn’t the first time the major miner has raised concerns over the legislation. BHP Minerals Australia president Geraldine Slattery said in March the reforms will “remove flexibility on both sides both for the employer and employee”.

More recently, Slattery told the American Chamber of Commerce that BHP’s Olympic Dam copper mine in South Australia could be harmed by the reforms.

“We believe ‘same job, same pay’ could increase the operating costs of our existing operations (in SA) by nearly $200 million per year and maybe up to $500 million in a worst-case scenario,” Slattery said.

With the ‘closing loopholes’ bill being tabled in parliament on September 4 by Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) reported that it will take several weeks for BHP to accurately quantify the tax from the proposed bill.

BHP suggested in May that the ‘same job, same pay’ legislation may cost itself $1.3 billion extra per year. The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations has since responded to BHP’s concerns.

“At the department’s request, BHP provided further information with respect to this modelling, on a confidential basis. The department has considered this information and does not consider that it aligns with the scope and anticipated application of this proposal,” the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations said.

However, the major miner still has concerns in relation to the legislation such as the bill including service contractors – an aspect of the bill the Minerals Council of Australia has also requested be removed.

“We remain deeply concerned that this bill will create further uncertainty and complexity for no gain in productivity, reduce the ability of Australian industry to successfully compete in the global arena, and ultimately increase costs for businesses and consumers at a time of already high inflation,” Slattery said.