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FWO eyes sham contracting in surprise audits

The Fair Work Ombudsman is making good on its promise to crack down on sham contracting arrangements, with the agency launching a series of surprise audits across three capital cities.

Bookkeeper Reporter 12 September 2019
— 1 minute read

Last week, the Fair Work Ombudsman conducted surprise audits 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 surprise audits follow warnings from Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker who had set the regulator’s priorities for the next 12 months.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has also been given $9.2 million over four years to establish a dedicated sham contracting unit within the regulator to address sham contracting behaviour.

“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,” Ms Parker said.

Fair Work Inspectors are now expected to analyse evidence obtained during the audits, with a report of the results to be released soon.

The inspectors had visited each stadium at the end of three Round 25 NRL games, interviewing cleaners and supervisors, as well as 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.

FWO eyes sham contracting in surprise audits
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