Our employees and contractors, around 80,000 globally, are the foundation of our business. We aim to attract, recruit, empower and retain the best people. 

To enable our people to perform at their best, safety is our highest priority and we invest in technology and innovative and effective ways to manage risk, streamline processes and improve productivity. We offer competitive remuneration and invest in development programs to build capability and improve performance.


Developing our capabilities and an enabled culture


To drive continuous improvement, we respect people’s differences and encourage self-accountability, a hunger to learn and a commercial mindset.

One of the ways we seek to achieve this is by applying the BHP Operating System (BOS) practices to help build leader capability. BOS is a way of leading and working that focuses on the safety of our people, value for our customers, setting clear goals and measuring progress and a mindset of zero waste. In FY2022, we continued to train our leaders through BOS learning academies to improve operational capability and culture, with more than 3,000 people leaders participating 

Three times a year we ask our employees and contractors about their experiences working with BHP via a short Engagement and Perception Survey. After each survey, our team leaders assess what is working well, what they can learn from others and take action to address improvement areas. Despite significant absences and workplace disruptions caused by COVID-19, we maintained a high response rate of 82 per cent of employees in March 2022 (81 per cent in February 2021) and achieved a strong engagement score of 82 per cent favourable (84 per cent in February 2021). In particular, 80 per cent of our employees and 88 per cent of our contractors (from 7,932 responses) would recommend BHP as a great place to work, which places us in the top third of global organisations as benchmarked by Qualtrics.  

In FY2022, we transformed our approach to developing frontline leadership with the launch of BHP Leadership Programs for supervisors, superintendents and managers. Through a combination of assessment, workshops, experiences and coaching, the suite of programs is designed to identify and develop leaders and prepare them to take on greater responsibility. We anticipate more than 1,000 leaders each year will develop their ability through these programs to lead inclusively, ethically and through complexity as they play their critical role to deliver continuous improvement. 

Our Operations Services business unit provides maintenance and production services across our Minerals Australia assets. It employs people on a permanent basis and supports skills building through a structured coaching and in-field training program designed to enable our workforce to deliver consistent equipment operation and maintenance that balances safety, maximum productivity and equipment reliability. Operations Services had more than 3,500 employees as at 30 June 2022 and is expected to continue to grow. 

To help bolster Australia’s skills base and create new career pathways into the mining sector, the BHP FutureFit Academy located in Perth, Western Australia and Mackay, Queensland provides a pathway to join Minerals Australia through an accredited maintenance and production traineeship or a trade apprenticeship. Once trained and qualified, employees move to one of our Australian operations. The FutureFit Academy training includes the skills required for an increasingly technological and digitised world and focuses on our safety, respectful behaviour, culture and productive ways of working. This helps FutureFit graduates to be ‘BHP site ready’ when they graduate. In FY2022, the FutureFit Academy trained more than 417 apprentices and trainees, with 175 graduating. In FY2023, the FutureFit Academy is expanding the program to include Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) and Nickel West. New curricula will be offered, including belt splicing, electrical and auto electrical. The belt splicing program will commence at Newman in August 2022. For more information on BHP’s FutureFit Academy, see our case study.

In FY2021, we implemented a global recognition program, Big Thanks | Muchas Gracias, to help embed a culture of recognition at BHP. The program supports leaders to recognise employee actions that are excellent and go above and beyond what is expected of them, or for recognising years of service. Since Big Thanks | Muchas Gracias was launched, more than 200,000 individual recognition moments have occurred (through e-cards, nominations and career milestone celebrations). 


Employee relations


Our four key focus areas for employee relations are:

  • creating relations with our workforce based on a culture of trust and cooperation
  • negotiating where there are requirements to collectively bargain (and recognising the rights of our workforce to collectively bargain)
  • closing out agreements with our workforce in South America and Australia, with no lost time due to industrial action, to the extent possible
  • ensuring we comply with legal obligations and regional labour regulations

In Australia, we are monitoring potential industrial relations legislative reform after the Government indicated an intention to introduce draft legislation during CY2022 that could have a material impact on our cost of labour and industrial landscape and negatively impact productivity.

Minerals Australia participated in five collective bargaining processes during FY2022: 

  • BHP Iron Ore Pty Ltd commenced bargaining in January 2022 for the BHPIO Locomotive Drivers Agreement 2022, which is ongoing. 
  • OS MCAP Pty Ltd recommenced bargaining in December 2022 for the Operations Services Production Agreement 2018, which is ongoing.
  • OS ACPM Pty Ltd recommenced bargaining in December 2022 for the Operations Services Maintenance Agreement 2018, which is ongoing.
  • BHP Coal Pty Ltd commenced bargaining in February 2021 for the BMA Enterprise Agreement 2021, which is ongoing.
  • BM Alliance Coal Operations Pty Ltd commenced bargaining in June 2022 for the BMACO Broadmeadow Mine Agreement 2022, which is ongoing.

Minerals Americas participated in two collective bargaining processes during FY2022

  • Escondida: O&M union N°1 of 2,333 employees signed in August 2021 for 36 months.
  • Cerro Colorado: O&M union N°1 of 705 employees signed in September 2021 for 36 months 

Negotiations to renew the collective agreements with BHP Chile’s Specialists & Supervisors Union (150 employees) and Escondida’s Intermel Union (140 employees) are expected to be completed in FY2023.

There were no legal industrial actions or strikes at Minerals Americas operated assets, Minerals Australia operated assets or our Jansen Potash Project and operations in Canada in FY2022. 


Impacts and challenges from COVID-19 related to our people


The rising numbers of COVID-19 cases and measures taken by governments within Australia and Chile to control its spread in FY2022 resulted in continued changes to working patterns for our employees and contractors and unplanned absences. As a result of the COVID-19 restrictions, we implemented controls across our business to reduce the number of workers required onsite and manage planned and unplanned absences, such as temporary remote working arrangements, increased health and safety requirements, asset-based vaccination campaigns, self-testing and office-testing campaigns and hybrid working. In Australia we also introduced vaccination against COVID-19 as a site access requirement after consultation with employees and unions. In Canada, all employees are required to remain fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to perform work at site including a third booster shot.

With state border closures restricting the mobilisation of employees and contractors to our operating sites in Australia at times during FY2022, changes to rosters and hours of work were made to ensure operational requirements for essential work were met. There has also been a further extension of flexible work options for employees and contractors in Australia in response to government-imposed lockdowns preventing them from attending their normal place of work. Flexible work options, including staggered start times, working from home and adapted working hours were in place across many of our office settings.

For information on the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce, refer to Health


Our people policies


We have a comprehensive set of frameworks that support our culture and drive our focus on safety and productivity.

Our Charter is the foundation of what we do at BHP. It describes our purpose, our values, how we measure our success, who we are, what we do and what we stand for.

Our Code of Conduct (Our Code) demonstrates how to practically apply the commitments and values set out in Our Charter and reflects many of the standards and procedures we apply throughout BHP. We have a business conduct advisory service as well as internal dispute and grievance handling processes to report and address any potential breaches of Our Code

Through these documents, we make it clear that unlawful discrimination of any sort is not acceptable and we give full and fair consideration to applications for employment received from all candidates, having regard to the requirements of the particular role and the candidate’s particular aptitudes and abilities. In instances where employees require support for a disability, we consider reasonable adjustments and will consider alternatives that may meet their skills, experience and capability, and offer retraining where required.

Our Human Rights Policy Statement outlines our commitment to respecting human rights, which includes rights related to workplace health, safety and labour. We commit to operating in a manner consistent with the terms of the International Labour Organization Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work

The Our Requirements standards outline the mandatory minimum standards we expect of those who work for or on behalf of BHP. Some of those standards relate to people activities, such as recruitment and talent retention.

We offer market-aligned benefits reflecting the standard practice and applicable legislation in each jurisdiction in which we operate for our employees. For full-time and part-time employees these may include retirement/pension benefits, parental leave and other leave categories, recognition program benefits, share ownership via our all-employee share purchase plan, Shareplus and, in some locations, medical/health/life insurance benefits. In instances where local regulations limit the operations of these company-wide benefit schemes, alternative arrangements are in place. Employees on fixed-term contacts and casual employees are also offered retirement/pension benefits (as per standard market practice and applicable legislation), recognition program benefits, share ownership and some leave entitlements (as per standard market practice and applicable legislation).  

Permanent full-time and part-time employees are eligible to participate in the short -term incentive plan (variable pay), with annual outcomes linked to the company and individual performance. 

Woman at Nickel West

Inclusion and diversity

BHP’s aspiration is to achieve gender balance within our employee workforce globally by the end of FY2025. We increased the representation of women working at BHP in FY2022 by 2.5 percentage points, with almost 8,000 more female employees at the end of the year than in 2016.


New early start night shift improves productivity

A new early start night shift option is now on offer for the Bamboo crew of haul truck operators at WAIO’s Newman Operations West.