Home › magazine › latest news › Australian cleaners treated unfairly by 38 per cent of contractors, says ombudsman
Australian cleaners treated unfairly by 38 per cent of contractors, says ombudsman20th of March 2015
Cleaning contractors will face tougher scrutiny after the workplace ombudsman found that nearly 40 per cent of employers were underpaying staff or not following appropriate record-keeping guidelines.
Only 62 per cent of the 578 businesses scrutinised by the Fair Work ombudsman were found to be fully compliant with regulations, a report found. The remaining 38 per cent had either underpaid staff or failed to comply with record-keeping or payslip regulations. More than 1,200 employees were underpaid.
"The cleaning services industry is characterised by layers of subcontracting, tight margins and a competitive tendering processes," the report said. "In some circumstances, intense competition between businesses to secure contracts can result in the undercutting of minimum wages to present the lowest-cost tender."
"It is the FWO's view that the tenderer bears the responsibility to ensure their procurement arrangements do not create circumstances where compliance with workplace laws is unachievable," the report said.
"Cleaners welcome the work by the ombudsman shining the spotlight on their industry and exposing unfair practices against their vulnerable and often isolated workforce," the head of trade union United Voice, David O'Byrne, said.