Strata managers beware – check your contractors as the FWO is enforcing compliance

Strata managers beware – check your contractors as the FWO is enforcing compliance

INCLEAN magazine is the premier cleaning and hygiene industry magazine in the Australian and New Zealand markets. It delivers need-to-know information to contracted and in-house service providers, product distributors and manufacturers. So when a publication of such high impact publishes multiple stories about illegal activities in the industry it is worth taking note.

The cleaning industry is one of the largest employers in Australasia

One in every 11 workers is employed in the Australasian cleaning industry, underscoring its economic importance. Even more importantly, the cleaning industry is responsible for maintaining public health and hygiene.

Not only is the cleaning industry important in terms of labour, it is also one of the most innovative. A constant flow of genuinely new products and services underscores delivery of services for efficient and environmentally sustainable operations.

It is sad therefore that there are some companies that are undermining the good reputation of the industry as a whole and in particular those companies that adhere to ethical and sustainable business principles.


 The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) is acting to punish offenders

The situation is about to change however, as Fair Work Australia is spot checking and fining cleaning contractors who illegally underpay workers and the government is now acting constructively to bring about legislation to enable prosecution of wrong doers. The FWO will enter into an Enforceable Undertaking with any employers who are non-compliant.


Who will be held responsible?

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 (Source: National Cleaning Industry Follow Up Campaign 2012 – 2013, Report – February 2015,  A report by the Fair Work Ombudsman under the Fair Work Act 2009, Date of Publication – February 2015) .   

 Alert for Strata Managers

Strata managers will need to act quickly to protect their owners corporations by closely examining the credentials of all their suppliers, in particular their wages practices.


Is your organisation dealing with either of these contractors?




  Further infringements  



Department of Fair Trading booklet on Strata Living


Download Fair Trading’s Strata living booklet (PDF size: 505kb)