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Wage theft in Adelaide cleaning industry

This is more of a warning for Adelaide job applicants rather than resume writing advice, although we get asked a raft of questions about career guidance.

We do a lot of one page resumes for migrants and others who want to work as domestic and commercial cleaners in Adelaide.

Just under $20,000 in wages have been recovered for 29 cleaners around Adelaide by the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), after an investigation into 17 commercial contract cleaning businesses.

The most common breaches were failures to pay penalty rates, underpayment of minimum hourly rates and failure to keep employee records.

When applying for a job, do a quick news scan on Google to see if the employer has ‘form’ with underpaying staff. Always check the payslip.

Ten of those companies — which were investigated after anonymous tip-offs, customer enquiries or requests for help from the FWO — breached workplace laws.

The companies provided cleaning to shopping centres, among other sites.

Seven of the 10 companies which breached workplace laws underpaid employees, two had underpaid employees and failed to meet pay slip and record-keeping requirements and one other breached pay slip and record-keeping laws.

Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the contract cleaning industry was a new compliance priority for the agency.

“Contract cleaning is part of an industry that employs a lot of migrant workers, who we know are at higher risk of exploitation,” Ms Parker said.

“The cleaning sector has a significant history of non-compliance with workplace laws.”

It’s better to be warned than find employment with shonks.

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