National campaign shows FWO intervention improves compliance

A nation-wide audit of 891 businesses previously found to have contravened workplace laws has revealed the positive impact of intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) on improving employers’ compliance.

The FWO national compliance monitoring campaign focused on following up with businesses that the agency had previously found to be non-compliant with their workplace obligations. The campaign found that 83 per cent of previously non-compliant businesses were now paying their workers correctly, while 81 per cent were complying with record-keeping and pay slip requirements.

Overall, 69 per cent of the previously non-compliant businesses were found to be fully compliant with their workplace obligations.

FWO Natalie James said the results show the progress being made by her agency towards creating a culture of compliance with Australian workplace laws.

“It is important to go back and check that businesses have mended their ways after my agency has found them to be non-compliant. It is clear that after their initial interactions with my agency, most of these businesses have taken our advice on board and put in place systems and processes to ensure they are compliant into the future,” Ms James said.

“Many of these businesses are small businesses that often do not have the benefit of dedicated human resources or payroll teams, meaning that the advice and guidance they receive from my agency is vital. The positive results of this campaign show that non-compliant businesses are often genuinely trying to do the right thing, but may lack an understanding or awareness of their obligations.

“Of course, there is still room for improvement. It is important for all businesses to be aware of and comply with their workplace obligations, and my agency will continue to assist them to do so.”

Amongst the businesses found to be non-compliant during the campaign, Fair Work Inspectors identified 390 contraventions, primarily relating to pay slip errors, underpayments and failure to apply penalty rates.

In many cases where non-compliance was detected, the FWO found that the businesses had made a genuine effort to comply following the initial interaction with the FWO.

However, the FWO has taken enforcement action against 195 businesses in response to significant instances of continued non-compliance uncovered during the audits.

“Continued deliberate non-compliance, particularly when a business has previously been audited by my agency, cannot be tolerated,” Ms James said. “We will be closely monitoring those businesses found to be non-compliant during this campaign to ensure that they are meeting their obligations in the future.

“Any further instances of non-compliance may be put before the courts to seek financial penalties.”

Ms James said her agency is committed to providing employers with easy access to resources and information to enable them to understand and comply with their workplace obligations.

www.fairwork.gov.au

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Source: InClean

IMF Bentham withdraws Spotless class action funding

IMF Bentham Limited plans to discontinue funding of shareholder class action against Spotless Group, subject to court approval.

The class action was launched by IMF Bentham and William Roberts Lawyers in February against Spotless  over its 2015 financial results.

In a statement issued by IMF Bentham, the litigation funder said the withdrawal will result in a loss from the investment of around $510,000.

A second class action was filed against Spotless in May by law firm Slater & Gordon over the company’s 2015 profit downgrade.

The announcement comes as Spotless continues to reject a takeover bid by Downer Services.

Earlier this week Downer declared its $1.2 billion takeover offer for Spotless Group unconditional, waiving  all remaining outstanding conditions and introducing accelerated payment terms.

The offer is still scheduled to close on Thursday, 29 June.

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Source: InClean

Applications open for Careerforce Training Excellence Awards

 

With applications now open until 30 June, Careerforce is inviting apprentices, trainees and workplaces across New Zealand’s hygiene, health and wellbeing sector to take part in the 2017 Careerforce Training Excellence Awards.

The Careerforce Training Excellence Awards recognise employees and employers who are committed to training, professional development, and making a difference in the lives of New Zealanders.

Careerforce chief executive Ray Lind said these awards are the first of their kind for the health, wellbeing, social and community services, cleaning and pest management sectors.

“We recognise the great work these trainees and workplaces do in supporting the health and wellbeing of New Zealand,” Mr Lind said. “This is an opportunity to recognise and reward dedicated people who show commitment to training, a desire to improve in their role and a contribution to their communities.

“These could be people working in mental health and addiction support, disability, aged care, social services, youth work and many other important sectors that contribute to better outcomes for New Zealanders.”

The awards are open to anyone involved with Careerforce who is currently undertaking or has recently completed a National Certificate, New Zealand certificate or diploma.

This includes Careerforce apprentices and trainees, and organisations who train with Careerforce.

The awards categories include Apprentice of the Year, Trainee of the Year, Māori Trainee of the Year and Pasifika Trainee of the Year. There’s also Workforce Development Employer of the Year award for the organisation, company or business that offers exceptional training to Careerforce trainees and apprentices.

Careerforce will be short-listing three finalists for each category and is encouraging trainees and workplaces from all over New Zealand to get involved.

Winners will be announced at the Careerforce Workforce Development Conference Dinner at Te Papa, Wellington on 7 August 2017.

www.careerforce.org.nz

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Source: InClean

ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America keynote speakers revealed

Comedian Howie Mandel and former NFL Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman will be the 2017 ISSA keynote speakers for the ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America Trade Show and Convention, taking place 11 to 14 September in Las Vegas.

“With the high-quality of the selected speakers, these entertaining addresses will be can’t-miss events,” said ISSA conventions and meetings director Kim Althoff.

“I can’t wait to hear what insights these gentlemen share for attendees to bring back to their everyday lives and businesses.”

Aikman will be speaking on Wednesday 13 September at 9:00 am, and Mandel will be closing the show, speaking on Thursday 14 September at 2:30 pm.

From left: Howie Mandel and Troy Aikman

Meet the speakers

Canadian born TV personality Howie Mandel has amassed a prolific career lasting more than 30 years. While many know him from his current stint as a judge on the widely popular TV show America’s Got Talent and his role as former host of the game show Deal or No Deal, he also participated in a wide variety of other shows. Mandel’s success is not limited to solely one media. His memoir, Here the Deal: Don’t Touch Me, that covers a variety of topics and personal issues—including his self-proclaimed germaphobia—was a New York Times bestseller.

Troy Aikman spent his entire 12-year football career as the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. Entering the league as the first-overall pick of the 1989 NFL Draft, he enjoyed legendary success, setting 45 franchise passing records and leading his team to six divisional titles, four conference championship games, and three Super Bowls—a feat done by only three quarterbacks besides Aikman in the history of the NFL. Aikman was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006; and his work as a five-time Super Bowl broadcaster for NFL on Fox earned him an Emmy nomination.

To learn more about the ISSA keynote addresses, visit issa.com/keynotes, or learn more about ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America at issa.com/show.

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Source: InClean

GECA unveils new branding and website

Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) has revealed a fresh new look with the launch of its newly redesigned website and logo.

The website has been completely redesigned is among some of the first organisations to use the new .eco domain. According to GECA, the launch of the new website supports the company’s broader mission to provide solutions for sustainable consumption and production.

The website now showcases the full range of services offered by the organisation, including consultation and advisory services, education and training opportunities, and advocacy links across the globe. GECA’s web address also features a new web address ending, “.eco”.

 

New GECA logo

 

Along with a new website, GECA has also launched new branding and a redesigned logo. The ecolabel has been given a fresh, modern update, and remains a recognisable symbol of trust and credibility in communicating sustainability.

“It’s more than just an environmental label – GECA takes a truly holistic approach to sustainability, making sure products are better for your health, and have a positive social impact too,” said GECA’s marketing manager, Paula Clasby.

GECA’s new logo has been officially recognised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) as a certification trade mark.

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Source: InClean

Downer lifts Spotless stake to 30 per cent

Downer EDI Limited says it has increased its interest in Spotless Group to almost 30 per cent, despite the cleaning and facilities management group continuing to urge shareholders to reject the takeover bid.

Downer announced on Thursday, 15 June it has an interest in Spotless equivalent to 29.598 per cent.

Downer is offering $1.15 per Spotless share, valuing the company at $1.3 billion.

Earlier this month Downer extended its takeover offer for a second time, with the new deadline set for Thursday, 29 June.

The company also agreed to waive all remaining conditions, and introduce accelerated payment terms, if it reaches a 50 per cent acceptance level by Monday, 19 June.

In a business update issued on Thursday, 15 June, Spotless once again urged shareholders to reject the offer.

Spotless said it was demonstrating positive momentum, accelerated by the sale of a bundle of around 250 small cleaning contracts in New Zealand, as well as the commencement of its partnership with the new Royal Adelaide Hospital – Spotless’ largest PPP contract.

In addition to the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Spotless said it had also received a short-term extension of the SA Health contract under which Spotless provides support services to three metropolitan Adelaide hospitals.

Spotless chairman, Garry Hounsell said: “As we have consistently maintained, Spotless is at an inflection point, and today’s announcement is further evidence that the strategy reset is well on track and there is strong positive momentum in the business.”

“The board and management team have maintained their strong focus on delivering results and we continue to maintain our belief that Spotless can create more value over the medium term as an independent company.”

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Source: InClean

SCA to shut US tissue production plant

Photo courtesy: azdailysun.com

SCA will close its tissue production plant in Flagstaff, Arizona, in the US this month.

The company said the closure of the Flagstaff tissue production plant is part of the company’s “Tissue Roadmap” and is aligned with the company’s strategy to optimise the geographic production footprint to drive cost and capital efficiency, and further increase value creation in the Professional Hygiene business area.

The Flagstaff tissue production plant has an annual capacity of 55,000 tons for the Professional Hygiene business.

SCA, with the leading global brand Tork, is the second largest player in the US professional hygiene market.

The US is the Group’s largest market, based on net sales in 2016, and is highly prioritised by SCA.

www.sca.com

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Source: InClean

Transparency key to Clientskey

Clientskey, a specification-based management system, aims to create more transparency between cleaning contractors and clients. Clientskey co-founder and director of operations Prakash Somarathne discussed with INCLEAN editor Claire Hibbit the idea behind the software and its features, including soon to be launched beacon technology capabilities.

Melbourne-based management platform Clientskey is turning the traditional management system model on its head, with a new program that enables companies and clients to create, access and monitor customised specifications and requirements.

At the time of print, Clientskey was still in its testing phase, with commercial cleaning companies Cleanamaniacs Australia and Directeight trialing the technology. The platform is slated to be available to the wider commercial cleaning market from May 2017.

Prakash Somarathne, Clientskey co-founder and director of operations, told INCLEAN, transparent communication is key to the management system’s offering.

Users produce and assign a series of customisable specifications and requirements for workers, and are notified once the task has been completed.

This article first appeared in the May/June issue of INCLEAN magazine. Click here to continue reading…

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Source: InClean

Parliament House cleaners call on politicians for donations

Parliament House cleaners are taking action after five years of no pay rises by calling on Australian politicians to help fund a living wage for the staff who keep Parliament House clean.

Cleaners union United Voice has set up a not-for-profit company with the sole purpose of collecting donations from the politicians at Parliament House to be distributed quarterly to the cleaners.

‘We Clean the People’s House’ will be in operation until the cleaners achieve a living wage. The company has three directors: John Falzon, CEO St Vincent de Paul Society, Jo-anne Schofield, national secretary United Voice and Hilary Russell Wardle, solicitor.

“It’s gotten to the stage where we need to ask for help for the cleaners to earn a living wage, and we are asking for a fortnightly donation from our well-paid politicians,” said Lyndal Ryan, United Voice ACT branch secretary.

“It is outrageous that the cleaners have had no wage rise for five years, whilst the population of the building has risen to 5000 when Parliament is sitting and with more functions taking place.”

John Falzon added that “the people who clean Parliament House are not invisible people”.

“They are people. They have families they are struggling to support and rents they are struggling to pay.”

Around 40 cleaners are employed to clean and maintain Parliament House which is open every day of the year except Christmas Day.

‘We Clean the People’s House’ is being launched today, Thursday 15 June, by Parliament House cleaners, John Falzon and Lyndal Ryan at Parliament House, Canberra.

www.unitedvoice.org.au

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Source: InClean

Sydney’s ‘game changing’ plan to achieve zero household waste

A plan to ‘Leave Nothing to Waste’ in the city of Sydney will introduce residential waste collection streams to increase recycling and set a path to zero waste.

Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the plan would redefine waste as a valuable resource, instead of landfill.

The strategy includes actions to help businesses choose more sustainable waste management solutions, recommends separate organic waste collection for city buildings, an investigation into improved public place recycling and upgrades to city depots to separate and sort waste.

If adopted by council, the actions will be implemented from 2019.

“Not so long ago, residents could throw all their rubbish into one bin, with city rubbish trucks transporting the contents of those bins to one big landfill site,” said Moore.

“Thankfully those days are over and we’re now much closer to a time where not a single item collected by city waste services ends up in landfill.

“Our residents generate close to 65,000 tonnes of waste every year – and while 69 per cent is now diverted from landfill, this plan looks to increase that to 90 per cent by 2030. To do that, we have to drastically increase our recycling rates.

“We’re creating more opportunities for residents to sort their waste, which will lead to higher recycling rates and reduced demand on finite resources.

“Our quarterly e-waste collection days have been incredibly popular, but residents who don’t have access to a car to transport their goods to the site haven’t been able to recycle their old electronics. We’re now proposing a weekly kerbside e-waste collection to recycle valuable metals such as aluminium, copper, gold and silver, while keeping the harmful chemicals used in these devices out of landfill sites.

“Food waste accounts for 35 per cent of the average red bin, which is currently separated at sorting facilities and used to create a low-grade compost. We will offer residents an opt-in food waste collection service that will create a high-quality fertiliser for organic farming and green electricity.

“Changing fashion trends and cheaper clothing have led to a growth in textiles waste – they now account for five per cent of the average red bin. With three quarters of our population living in apartment buildings, we believe there’s an opportunity to collect thousands of tonnes of textiles that can be recycled and used to create new products.

“We’ll begin investigating how we can make textiles collection a common feature of bin rooms across the city’s many apartment buildings.

“We understand that kerbside collections cannot cover all waste items, which is why we’re setting up a dedicated drop-off centre for problem items such as chemicals, paints, batteries and gas bottles.”

The Lord Mayor said the city would also continue to work closely with businesses to help improve their waste management practices.

“Businesses generate more than 90 per cent of all waste produced in the city area and we need their commitment to seriously change the way we deal with waste in Sydney,” said Moore.

“The city has developed the operational waste management guidelines for commercial offices – but there’s always more that can be done and we’re calling on businesses to contact our specialised teams so we can look at how they can improve their recycling rates.”

Moore added that the city would work with the waste industry to investigate the feasibility of an energy from waste facility from items that cannot be recycled.

“We’re absolutely committed to recycling as many waste items as we can, but we realise that’s not possible for all items. That’s why a waste to energy treatment solution in an appropriate location must be considered.

“We’ll talk to industry stakeholders to discuss the best way forward for an energy to waste solution.”

If approved, residents and stakeholders can view and comment on ‘Leave Nothing to Waste’ on sydneyyoursay.com from Tuesday 27 June 2017.

cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

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Source: InClean