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Fair Work Ombudsman reveals audit of stadia cleaning contractors
The Fair Work Ombudsman has revealed that it conducted surprise audits last week at AAMI Park in Melbourne, ANZ Stadium in Sydney and GIO Stadium in Canberra to analyse the cleaning arrangements of these stadiums as part of a sham contracting investigation.
The regulator conducted the audits in response to intelligence suggesting that cleaning companies that are contracted to clean stadiums may not be compliant with Australia’s workplace laws.
Fair Work Inspectors visited each stadium at the end of three Round 25 NRL games: the Rabbitohs vs Roosters at ANZ Stadium, Storm vs Cowboys at AAMI Park and Raiders vs Warriors at GIO Stadium.
At each venues, inspectors interviewed cleaners and supervisors, while also photographing the venues, to gain a better understanding of the employment conditions the cleaners are working under.
Inspectors also reviewed employment records on site at the stadiums as part of gathering evidence for the investigation.
Reminding businesses that the agency recently announced a crack-down on sham contracting arrangements, Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker stated “Fair Work inspectors visited ANZ Stadium, AAMI Park and GIO Stadium last week due to concerns about sham contracting, where employers misclassify workers as independent contractors to avoid paying entitlements like overtime and annual leave.
“Fair Work Inspectors will now analyse the evidence they have gathered to check if the cleaning contractors are meeting their lawful obligations under Australia’s workplace laws. If we identify non-compliance, our first priority will be arranging back-pay for affected workers and we will then consider our compliance and enforcement options.
“Sham contracting is a widespread problem in the contract cleaning industry. We will take strong action if companies are avoiding their lawful obligations to their workers by asking them to register as independent contractors instead of paying them as employees and providing them leave and other entitlements under the Cleaning Services Award 2010.”
The Fair Work Ombudsman highlights that a number of factors contribute to establishing the difference between an employee and an independent contractor and provides guidance on its website to help businesses understand when it is appropriate to classify workers as independent contractors or employees.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has previously audited cleaning operations at Melbourne’s Marvel (formerly Etihad) Stadium and the MCG due to similar concerns regarding workplace law breaches. The MCG audits resulted in a $132,217 penalty against the MCG’s head cleaning contractor.
A report of the results of last week's audits will be published in due course.
4th July 2019 - GIO Stadium Canberra to get $440,000 security upgrade
25th June 2019 - NSW Government admits no timeline for ANZ Stadium redevelopment
28th February 2018 - Fitness Australia to host webinar on ‘sham’ contracting
23rd February 2017 - Fair Work Commission cuts Sunday and public holiday penalty rates
11th March 2017 - Security Guards paid illegally at National Gallery of Victoria
9th December 2015 - Ed Sheeran sets AAMI Park attendance record
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