Home' Inclean : INCLEAN Jan-Feb 2017 Contents 10 INCLEAN January/February 2017
Spotless Group has secured a 20-year venue management
contract at the Ballarat Station precinct in Victoria.
The integrated services provider will join forces with the
Victorian Government, developer Pellicano and hotel operator
Quest to take control of the $44 million project.
Featuring a new plaza, hotel and convention centre, the
redevelopment will integrate the existing heritage railway shed
and its architecture will be inspired by the character of the
Ballarat Town Centre.
Spotless and its gourmet catering and event specialist,
Epicure, will be responsible for the convention centre,
providing venue management, catering, cleaning, security,
audio visual services, as well as sales and marketing.
Valued between $40 and $50 million over 20 years, it is
expected that Spotless’ contract will provide for about 50 local
jobs when it is up and running in about 2020.
“We are really excited about the project and what it means
for Ballarat and regional Victoria,” said Spotless general
manager for leisure, sports and entertainment, Ian Delmenico.
“We look forward to working with everyone involved in the
project to provide a great experience for the community.”
Construction on the Ballarat Railway Precinct is set to begin
by mid to late 2017.
The owner of a collapsed Brisbane-based cleaning company has
been penalised a record $126,540 and ordered to back-pay
migrant workers almost $60,000 following investigations by the
Fair Work Ombudsman.
The penalty ordered by the Federal Court Circuit against
Bijal Girish Sheth owner of the now defunct Brisclean Pty Ltd,
is the highest ever secured by the Fair Work Ombudsman
against an individual.
Sheth was centrally involved in his cleaning company
Brisclean breaching sham contracting laws by deliberately
misclassifying four employees as independent contractors and
underpaying them a total of $59,878 between August 2012 and
December 2014. A fifth employee was also exploited but the
underpayment of the worker could not be quantified due to a
lack of records.
The five affected workers – including two Indian visa-holders
and three immigrants who are now permanent residents – were
all from non-English speaking backgrounds.
The exploitation of the workers occurred despite the Fair
Work Ombudsman having previously cautioned Sheth and his
company about sham contracting and having investigated 15
previous underpayment allegations against them.
Brisclean could not be pursued in court after it was placed into
administration in 2015 – but the Fair Work Ombudsman used the
accessorial liability provisions of the Fair Work Act to take legal
action against Sheth.
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said the outcome of the
matter serves as a warning to the minority of rogue operators in
Australia that steps will be taken to hold them personally liable
if they are involved in exploiting workers.
“Even if you liquidate your company, it’s no guarantee of
avoiding the consequences of non-compliance with the Fair
Work Act,” James said.
Three of the five affected workers often worked late night
shifts cleaning commercial premises, while one primarily cleaned
cars and one cleaned hotel rooms.
Sheth’s company paid them flat rates as low as $17 an hour and
did not pay them at all for some work performed.
Sheth also contravened record-keeping and pay-slip
obligations and failed to comply with three Notices to Produce
employment records issued by Fair Work inspectors.
The workers were underpaid individual amounts of $26,492,
$22,545, $6679 and $4162.
The court has ordered that part of the penalty imposed on
Sheth be paid to the workers to rectify the underpayments, if
Sheth does not comply with the back-pay order.
James said the cleaning industry, which employs a significant
number of vulnerable workers, will continue to be a priority for
the Fair Work Ombudsman in 2017.
It is believed Sheth is operating a Brisbane cleaning business
under a new corporate entity and the Fair Work Ombudsman
will refer the matter to the Australian Securities and
Spotless secures 20-
year venue management
contact in Ballarat
Image supplied by Spotless
Record penalty against
cleaner who refused to
clean up his act
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national sales manager Samantha Ewart
on 02 8586 6106 or email
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02 8586 6140 or email
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