Resolving issues in contract cleaning
There is lots of information available on our website to help both employers and employees resolve problems in the workplace.
On this page:
In most cases, the quickest and easiest way to resolve a problem is to raise the issue directly with your employer.
We have information and advice in our Common workplace problems section about situations that may occur at your job and how to approach the issue. These include situations like not getting pay slips and not receiving the right pay.
Best Practice Tip
The Employee’s guide to resolving workplace issues has detailed steps you can follow when you’re ready to raise an issue with your employer.
Migrant workers and visa holders (including international students) have the same workplace entitlements and protections as all other workers in Australia. Learn more at Visa holders and migrant workers.
We provide free advice and assistance to all workers to help them understand these rights.
Concerns about visas
It's important for employers and employees to know the rules of an employee’s visa. Some visas have rules about how many hours employees can work or where they can work.
An employer can't cancel an employee’s visa, even if the employee has breached their visa conditions. Only Home Affairs can grant, refuse or cancel visas.
Visa holders can seek help without fear of visa cancellation, even if they've breached their work-related visa conditions. This arrangement with Home Affairs is called the Assurance Protocol. Find out more at Visa protections – the Assurance Protocol.
For a step-by-step guide to resolving a workplace issue if you’re a migrant worker, see I'm a migrant worker being treated unfairly.
Example: Resolving problem of not being paid for all time worked
Sun-Young has just started working for a company that cleans large shopping centres. Before her first shift she is required to attend a training session to learn about their procedures, the cleaning products they use and the tasks she must do each day.
When Sun-Young checks her first pay slip she notices she has not been paid for the training session. She has also not been paid for the time it takes her to collect and load the cleaning cart in the morning, or to return and unload the cleaning cart in the afternoon.
Sun-Young reads about unpaid work on fairwork.gov.au. She learns that because she had to attend the training, she must be paid for it. She must also be paid for all hours that the company requires her to work, including the time it takes her to collect and return the cleaning cart.
Sun-Young brings the issue to her employer Michael’s attention. She gives him the information that she found and asks him to respond, letting him know that she may request assistance from the Fair Work Ombudsman if he doesn’t reply. Michael thanks Sun-Young for letting him know. Michael says that the company will back pay Sun-Young the money she is owed in her next pay.
The Employer’s guide to resolving workplace issues has detailed steps on how to raise and resolve an issue in the workplace.
Employers and their representatives can also complete online learning courses on topics such as hiring employees and workplace flexibility in our Online learning centre.
Small business operators can find tailored tools, resources and information at our Small Business Showcase.
Our Employer Advisory Service (EAS) gives eligible small businesses free tailored written advice on pay and entitlement issues. Learn more about this service at Employer Advisory Service – overview.
As the Fair Work Ombudsman, we are an impartial agency, meaning we don’t represent employers or employees.
We can provide advice and assistance to employers and employees to promote compliance with the Fair Work Act 2009.
We can help with:
- underpayment of minimum entitlements under an award or an enterprise agreement, including:
- pay rates
- notice of termination
- general employment conditions under these instruments
- breaches of the National Employment Standards (NES).
Read more about our role, and how to ask for our help, at Get our help with your workplace issue.