BHP wins court case over employment scam

Despite recent controversy over an employment scam, BHP Billiton will continue to source workers from external agencies.

Earlier in the year the mining giant began legal action through an arm of the United Nations over a scam that solicited workers for the company without its knowledge.

Legal documents show the scammers approached potential employees of BHP Billiton and told them they had been deemed suitable for employment, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The documents were filed to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) against the European-based scammers who operated the internet domain

The URL is similar to the company’s actual trading name on the London stock exchange.

BHP says it has never had a commercial relationship with the scammers, and is concerned they may have given out “phoney employment contracts.”

The mining giant believes the scam was an attempt to obtain personal information from victims looking for jobs in the midst of Australia’s skills shortage.

The dire realities of the skills shortage have resulted in many mining companies, including BHP, sourcing some staff from external agencies to fill positions.

The WIPO ruled that BHP had the right to take control of the website and domain name the scam was using.

"The disputed domain name was registered for the purpose of disrupting (BHP Billiton’s) business, as internet users are led to believe falsely that they have entered into employment contracts with the complainant," WIPO adjudicator Dennis Foster said.

Foster said he was "convinced" the culprits were acting in "bad faith" when they established the domain name.

BHP does not believe the culprits will face prosecution and will therefore not pursue further legal action.

Despite the scandal, BHP maintains it needs to source some workers through external agencies to fill labour shortages.

Image: BHP Billiton



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