Significant milestones in the fight against modern day slavery were implemented last month when the Australian and NSW Parliaments passed Modern Slavery Acts. The Acts require contractors to ensure all persons in its supply chain do not engage in any form of modern slavery. There have been cases within the cleaning and other service industries where workers have been found to have been underpaid. The introduction of the Act will contribute to ensuring workers are paid full working entitlements under industry Awards.
While cleaning companies are responsible for paying employee wages and entitlements, we believe property managers, facility managers and asset owners that procure services must become fully aware of their responsibilities to ensure worker’s entitlements can be met. Over the past two years, Quayclean has revised its business operations and this review was accelerated early last year when we experienced an allegation of underpayment at one of our major client sites. Even though Quayclean had a significant employed workforce, we decided we would move away from the use of sub-contracting businesses to a fully-employed business model to eradicate the risk of non-compliance. Combined with the acquisition of new clients and the retention of others, Quayclean’s staff levels have now increased threefold to over 1000. We are immensely proud of our expanded fully-employed workforce and the exceptional quality of the services they provide.
In 2017, Quayclean had an issue identified by the Fair Work Ombudsmen a service partner at one of our major venues in Victoria. We have been working with the FWO who have found Quayclean itself pay its staff according to the award but its service partner was allegedly found to have a number of breaches. Whilst we are working with the FWO on this matter it does reinforce our direction of employing all staff at our locations. We find this eliminates the risk of default, engages all our staff directly, results in strong retention rates and we are able to provide formal Certificate training to our staff. Through this process, we have also further developed our skills in labour optimisation.
Want to understand the Cleaning Services Award 2010 a little better? You can download a copy here.