Pandemic Pay Insights for Mining & Metals Companies

02 April 2020

While the impact of Coronavirus is still playing out globally, many businesses around the world are well under-way with implementing their business continuity programs.

In response, BDO REMSMART have put together Pandemic Pay Insights, an initiative that brings together our collaborative mining and metals subscribers and extended network to capture rapid knowledge sharing and technical approaches to human resource planning and remuneration strategies during the COVID-19 response.

Summary of COVID-19 response practices reported to 30 March 2020

1. General Trends

  • While the majority of organisations have a pandemic plan, more than 20% had not yet initiated a response, this is significant
  • Of the organisations with a response plan, over 50% made it companywide, with around 10% initiating a COVID-19 task force and 5% an HR plan
  • Response plans were widely being communicated via email, intranet or formal training
  • Over 90% of organisations initiated new workplace hygiene standards including: hand sanitiser stations, increased availability of hygiene supplies, no hand-shaking, temperature screening, additional cleaning and education. On FIFO sites, staggered meal times, closure of wet mess halls and minimising face to face meetings were common tactics.
  • 20% of organisations were still allowing non-essential visitors to site
  • 31% of organisations reported having on-site medical facilities, capable of isolating and treating infected patients

2. Remuneration and workforce trends

  • An equal proportion of the workforce were reported to have the opportunity to work from home as those who didn’t
  • Potential approaches to remunerating employees during a lockdown were mixed, with more than a third of businesses (40%) planning to pay pre-Corona wages, and the majority either planning for a mix of pay and leave, or other measures including staggered salary reductions, stand downs and redundancies.
  • For on-site employees, the majority of organisations were preparing for reduced allowances to keep more employees in a job

Pandemic Pay Strategies

The current instability of our global economy and speed of change locally is going to continue, if not increase over the next few months, and as such, businesses will be forced to introduce new pandemic pay measures to minimise loss of workforce during this time.

The following considerations could support greater retention and wealth distribution tactics if implemented together, or in part:

To further assist with processing and strategising workforce crisis approaches, we've developed the following steps to consider. 

Pandemic Workforce Prototype

* Survey responses were taken from Australian based mining and metals companies between March 15th and March 28th.