Since 2010 when the state cleaning awards were nationalised Australia has seen a spike in the so called “sham contracting” within the industry.

In its essence a sham contract is essentially a worker using an ABN as his or her payment method when for all intents and purposes that person is fulfilling the role of an Employee.  A key indicator of this is the lack of diversity in invoiced parties by the worker.  Usually only one business.

IT is important to note that these type of arrangements are more frequent when the worker is of a non-australian background here for study or a new home.


Now for many businesses price is the one and only indicator for a cleaning contract, anyone can push a mop right?  This type of approach is fraught with danger and can lead the business to engage in sham contract arrangements.  Value for money is a far better analytical tool for assessing the validity of each and every quote.  And importantly protects the business from any splash back as happens when sham contracts are exposed.  Even the big players in Australian business have been caught up in these publicity nightmares.


Check their website
Does their careers section outline they are looking for employees or are they looking for workers (assume ABN workers in this case)
Do they openly state they employee their staff?


When assessing the quote ensure you get a detailed list of scheduled services, not just the bottom line figure
Your version of clean and what is quoted can be vastly different
Price: golden rule your mother always told (or should have always told you)
If it sounds too good to be true …. It probably is
Any legitimate business has to payroll, superannuation, holiday pay/casual loading, material costs etc etc.  All these items have to be covered in the contract price.
Ask for certificates of currency and ensure that they cover the business you are paying.
We have seen examples of sham contracts where there was ultimately no insurance coverage and the cleaners were working around millions of dollars of equipment.
Ultimately be a good citizen and paying a fair price for services rendered protects you best.


We all want to cut costs and increase sales/profits.  However, cheapest always leads to problems.
Underpaid workers cut corners both in business practice and in service provided.  How much of your own time are you willing to waste chasing up issues with cleaners and risking your property with slap dash attitudes.

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