Why isn't every mine site offering an even roster?


Why doesn't every company offer the even roster? MPi General Manager of Workforce Operations explains the reason.

The even time roster, an equal amount of time spent at work as time spent off, sounds like a dream. So why is it that not every mining company offers an even roster?

Shane Moore, MPi General Manager of Workforce Operations, explains cost is one factor.

“On a two-week-on, one-week-off roster, you only need a three-panels (one crew on days, one crew on nights and one crew on R&R), whereas an equal time roster requires four panels (one crew on days, one crew on nights and two crews on R&R),” he said.

“Rosters that are longer also entice a different group of candidates. Ultimately, on a two-week-on, one-week-off roster working 12 hours shifts the employee works 2920 hours a year, whereas a roster of seven days on, seven days off roster the employee only works 2190 hours a year.

“Therefore, those working the two week on, one week off are remunerated higher due to the extra hours per year they work."

So, what is the most-desired roster?

Recently, filled with curiosity, we took a poll asking people working in the Australian mining industry what they felt is the best FIFO roster. Interestingly, while the even time roster gets a lot of hype, it is not actually the most favoured. With 1056 responses to the survey, the results fell in favour of an eight-days-on, six-days-off roster. Almost 30 per cent of respondents said this was their ideal work-R&R balance.

The ideal roster ultimately depends on the individual. Those with families tend to favour the 8/6 roster, while younger workers with no family responsibilities may prefer a two-and-one roster, which was the second-most-popular roster in our poll. 

For those who are unhappy with their roster situation, Moore says: “no matter what part of the industry you are in, there are a variety of rosters to consider. For example, in the open pit operator space we know of 2/1, 2/2, 15/13, 5/5/5, and 7/7 rosters all being offered.

“In that space, there is a great opportunity to switch to a different site offering the roster that you like. Be aware though, the shorter the roster the lower the pay primarily due to the hours you work.”

If you are looking at mining jobs, look no further than MPi to help you navigate mining employment and find the perfect roster to suit your lifestyle. Contact us today.

Stephanie O'Brien
Mining People International