Quayclean Australia pointed out that the government’s temporary legislative changes allowing student visa holders to work up to 40 hours per week in the tourism and hospitality sector are compromising the cleaning industry and potentially endangering Australian businesses and the health of Australians.
Quayclean Australia Managing Director Mark Piwkowski formally expressed his concerns in letters to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Minister of Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alex Hawke and the Home Secretary Karen Andrews.
Hiring over 2,200 workers across Australia as part of its full-time model, Quayclean provides cleaning and hygiene. and waste management services to over 215 major public sites including Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Racing Club, Victoria Parliament, Perth Zoo, Sydney Olympic Park, Marvel Stadium, Adelaide Oval, SCG and Gabba, as well as over 70 private schools.
Piwkowski said the changes to student visa holders have had an immediate negative impact on Quayclean’s business and the cleaning industry at large at a time when COVID-19 outbreaks continue to occur.
Piwkowski said student visa holders make up a large portion of the cleaning industry workforce, but are now moving away from cleaning jobs, where they are regulated at just 8 p.m. per week, for the benefit of tourism and the hotel industry.
Piwkowski notes that “60% of our employees are student visa holders who have indicated that their new ability to work 80 hours per fortnight in the tourism and hospitality sector means they need to consider their options.
“Employees have quit and accepted a job that allows them to take advantage of overtime and it may be difficult to bring these workers back into the cleaning industry after the student work visa hour limit is reinstated. in the tourism and hospitality sector.
“While the easing of the working hours limit may be temporary, we are concerned that the effect on our industry’s workforce will be much longer lasting.
“We believe the government should prevent further damage to the cleaning industry by giving our student workers the same rights as those in the tourism and hospitality industries. Indeed, without a strong cleaning industry providing preventive hygiene services, the tourism and hospitality sector cannot thrive.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of cleaning services for all aspects of public life. We cannot afford this industry to be without the dedicated and hardworking staff who have served the Australian public so well over the past 15 months. “
To contact Quayclean, click here to view their entry in the Australasian recreation management Supplier directory.
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