Mining “benchwarmers” earn 150k for nothing

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Some fly-in fly-out "benchwarmers" are spending two to 12 months at home earning $150,000 a year before being needed on site.

Fairfax Media reports workers known as "benchwarmers" in the mining industry are kept employed when they’re unneeded because finding new workers is so difficult.

FIFObids founder Michael Haywood, who formerly owned two gas and mining services companies, told Fairfax Media the "benchwarmer" practice was costing companies dearly.

"Their main problems were they had so many people on the books, retaining them so they could use them, but they weren’t using them all the time," he said.

Haywood and his business partner Antonluigi Gozzi have created the FIFObids website for employers to shop online for workers.

Fairfax Media reports FIFObids hopes to cut down on companies using benchwarmers by allowing employers to find workers when they’re needed.

Workers sign up to the website free of charge and companies bid for their labour similarly to an online auction.

Workers then choose which offer is most desirable and companies source their desperately needed labour.

Last week Fortescue Metals Group told the Federal Government’s FIFO inquiry it cost $100,000 extra to employ a local Pilbara worker over a FIFO worker.

Image: PerthNow, Lyndon Mechielsen

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