BP fires 642 staff for unethical behaviour and breaking the law

BP sacked 642 staff and contractors in 2006 for unethical behaviour and for breaking laws and other regulations.

The figure – the largest since 2002 and an increase of 164 cases on 2005 – excludes dismissals from its retail business, the energy giant said in its annual sustainability report. Of the total, 206 were staff, and the remainder were contractors.

The main reasons for dismissal were health, safety and security breaches, incidences of theft, and misuse of company property. The company also terminated the contracts or did not renew the contracts of 69 suppliers during the year, mainly due to breaches of BP’s policies.

BP employs about 97,000 people in 100 countries.

The annual report details the company’s progress on a variety of HR issues, including diversity, recruitment, occupational health, and employee satisfaction.

The percentage of senior female managers in the company has increased from 9% in 2000 to 17% in 2006. The number of managers from outside the US or UK has also risen from 14% to 20%.

However, the report raised some concerns. Staff satisfaction scores related to corporate reputation fell by 4% in 2006, likely to be a result of the fatal blast at BP’s Texas City refinery in 2005, which killed 15 people and injured 180. An internal report found that four managers should have been sacked for failing to prevent the explosion.

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