A survey of Queensland resources companies taken during the COVID-19 outbreak has found that more than half of the sector plans to maintain or increase its workforce said the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).
QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said during these turbulent times the resources sector was considered an essential service by both the federal and state governments to fast-track the economy to recovery mode.
“The survey found that 58 percent of companies were maintaining or planning to grow current workforce numbers over the next three months and only 21 percent or 1 in 5 expected a decrease,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“The results show COVID-19 has not significantly impacted jobs in our sector in Queensland at this stage with a similar survey taken in the December quarter reporting that 15 percent of companies were expecting to decrease their workforce, a difference of 6 percent from this survey.
“Every company is working hard to make working arrangements more flexible with 95 percent of companies offering either additional sick leave or access to future balances to support their workers through COVID-19.
“Payroll tax relief announced by the State Government was well received by companies with over a quarter reporting it had helped to maintain jobs.
“The QRC and its members have outlined that the State Government could provide help through measures which ‘suspend and extend’ tenure requirements. This would include the suspension of required compliance with work programs and an extension of upcoming relinquishment requirements. These measures would allow companies to focus on staff retention over the coming months.
“While these numbers are encouraging the industry is committed to a ‘people first’ response to the detection of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and a strict adherence to the advice of health authorities.
Mr Macfarlane said where staff had to travel by car or air transport, companies were committed to additional best practice guidelines including:
- temperature testing at Brisbane Airport
- social distancing on chartered flights
- separating workers from the general public at airport departure and arrival;
- social distancing on transport from airport to mine site and mine camp through the use of mine-owned bus or vehicles or chartered bus; and
- separating visiting workers by restricting access from the local community.
QRC would like to thank the Mayors and Councillors for continuing to work with the industry. We are all in this together. Their concerns are our concerns.