BHP has announced that it will reduce payment terms for small, local and Indigenous businesses as part of a program to support its communities and regional economies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company said it will make immediate payments of outstanding invoices, with the accelerated payment program expected to deliver approximately $100 million more quickly into the hands of its small business partners.
BHP CEO, Mike Henry said the company will reduce payment terms to seven days (from 30 days) for more than 1,100 small Australian businesses.
“We are taking action to reduce the risk of transmission at our sites, in our offices and in our communitie,” Mr Henry said.
“Our local and small business partners play a critical role in supporting our operations and our people, and we know this is a very difficult time for them.
“We must look out for each other as we manage through this together.”
BHP, which spends around $1.5 billion annually with local Australian suppliers, has also established a $6 million fund to support its labour hire companies and their employees.
“The fund will be used for one-off payments for people quarantined after entering Australia and pay for labour hire employees not entitled to sick leave but affected by COVID-19,” reads the company’s statement.
The revised payment terms arrangements will take effect next week.