Updated: 01/24/2014 20:44

Cleaning businesses need to be licensed within 5 months of Environmental Public Health (EPH) Amendment Bill coming into force: NEA



Cleaning businesses need to be licensed within 5 months of Environmental Public Health (© EPH)

Cleaning businesses will need to be licenced within five months of the provisions of the Environmental Public Health (EPH) Amendment Bill coming into force. 

The Bill was introduced in Parliament on the 20th of this month and is expected to come into force in April. 

The National Environment Agency, NEA, says the new licensing regime will level the playing field by imposing higher standards of employment across the cleaning industry and lead to more professional and reliable services.

It'll will require cleaning businesses to have mandatory written employment contracts, to provide training and to implement the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) in order to ensure that cleaners receive wages that commensurate with their skills, training and productivity. 

An estimated 55,000 resident cleaners will benefit from these requirements. 

NEA says all cleaning businesses will have to be registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority or the Registry of Societies, and demonstrate relevant experience. 

To be licensed, businesses will have to factor in the Progressive Wage Model when tendering for new contracts or renewing existing contracts, and pay resident cleaners no less than what is reflected in the wage model. 

More details to help cleaning businesses comply with this licensing condition will be released after the Bill is passed. 

Under the provisions of the Bill, cleaning businesses found operating without a valid licence will be liable to a maximum fine of $10,000 or up to 12 months imprisonment or both and $1,000 every day for continuing offences. 

Service buyers who engage unlicensed cleaning businesses will also be liable to a maximum fine of $10,000 and $1,000 every day for continuing offences. 

Licensed cleaning businesses found to be in breach of licensing conditions may also face a maximum financial penalty of $5,000 and may risk having their licence suspended or revoked.

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