How much does it really cost to employ a cleaner?

Published January 16, 2018 | By

In response to the often asked question of: “Why is it so expensive to clean our office, school, shop, aged care facility or anything for that matter”, I though it would be good to share a white paper written several years ago and used extensively in educating procurers of services. Whilst written primarily to reflect cleaning wages, this can be extrapolated for just about any service.

Contrary to what can be found on international websites that promote working as a cleaner in Australia for $4 – $12 wage per hour, this is not legal. It is far from ethical. It is grossly unfair on the person who is led to believe that the land of milk and honey, that Australia genuinely is, is a place that you can go and work for these extortionist wages and enjoy some sort of lifestyle. And it in no way reflects the best interests of the country.

Eventually these people will need to retire. And let’s take a moment to remember the purpose of the Superannuation Guarantee Levy. It was to ensure that people could retire in relative comfort, funded by the employer and in their own superannuation funds. Not possible when earning seriously low cleaning wages and or being paid in cash. So the attached white paper was written to help educate people needing to make a procurement decision on labour related services.

Until we have Artificially Intelligent Robots, to fulfil all of the functions that service providers such as hospitality businesses, cleaners, security officers, trolley collectors, gardeners, electricians, plumbers and the like, we will have a need to pay people to perform these tasks.

For many award-based employees, until the Government removes all penalty rates, this means shift loadings and penalty rates, often 15% to 30% of the day time rate for working after 6 pm and then weekends where they can be 150% Saturday, 175% to 200% for Sundays and 250% on Public Holidays. Keep this in mind when calculating cleaning wages.

When base wage rates in the lower paid industries are between $19 and $25 per hour, that means that on Sunday, a cleaner may be entitled to be paid between $40 and $50 per hour (raw wages cost), plus all the trimmings, it is incredible to hear that some companies quote $30 per hour flat rate any day or time of the week.

We have all heard that if it sounds too good to be true then it is probably too good to be true, more aptly and provocatively put, it is a lie. So the following white paper was written to help educate people needing to make a procurement decision on labour-related services.