Cleaning Accountability Framework marks a decade

Ombudsman says the achievements of CAF in building a culture of compliance could be a best practice model in workplace relations for other industries.

Fair Work Ombudsman Anna Booth said the achievements of the Cleaning Accountability Framework (CAF) in building a culture of compliance could be a best practice model in workplace relations for other industries.

CAF is an independent not-for-profit organisation that aims to improve conditions and work standards in property cleaning services.

It achieves this through engagement with cleaners, tenants, contractors, property owners, facility managers, and investors across the cleaning supply chain.

Speaking at an event celebrating the 10th anniversary of CAF, Booth said its work and that of the FWO stood side by side.

“The Fair Work Ombudsman promotes compliant, cooperative workplaces through education and enforcement strategies, while the CAF strives to promote and support the implementation of best practice approaches to supply chain management and workplace culture and entitlements”.

“I see this kind of model as vitally important as we move toward embracing more collaborative approaches across the whole workplace relations community,” Booth said.

“CAF provides a model that I hope can be leveraged and replicated across different industries, to provide the benefits to workers and businesses that we see materialising in the contract cleaning sector.”

CAF’s founding partners were the United Workers Union (then United Voice) and AustralianSuper.

The FWO and the Property Council of Australia are also partners.

CAF’s focus is on ensuring ethical labour practices. It offers CAF Building Certification, Contractor Prequalification and education.

The FWO had a key role in the CAF’s development and remains an active partner today. Staff from the FWO’s Compliance and Enforcement area remain non-voting members of the CAF’s Certification Panel, where they provide guidance and advice on compliance with workplace laws.

CAF has certified 42 buildings as at 30 June, and this certification covers more than 1,600 cleaners. This includes five buildings tenanted by the FWO.

Certification helps ensure cleaners are paid correctly, can speak up on issues, and are educated on their rights and entitlements.

CAF Certification means property owners have an ongoing oversight of compliance and a transparent supply chain, engage directly with workers and have responsible procurement practices.

Contractors receive a fair price enabling them to pay their workers lawfully and have compliant processes in place regarding wages and entitlements, record-keeping and visa requirements.

“My view is that industry-led compliance and education measures like CAF are central to a sustained culture of compliance,” Booth said.

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