Partnering for improved supply chain transparency
Nov 23, 2021

The cleaning industry has been identified as a sector where Australian workers can be at risk of exploitation and where a potential risk of modern slavery practices exists. Participation in the Cleaning Accountability Framework (CAF) has enabled QICGRE to increase our awareness of modern slavery and labour rights issues in the cleaning industry, and importantly in our cleaning suppliers at our assets.


QICGRE has been an active participant with CAF since its inception in 2013 and has had representation since 2018 on both the former CAF Steering Committee and current representation on the CAF Modern Slavery working group.

CAF Building Certification provides assurance to investors, building owners and their tenants that cleaning services at that building are being procured, managed, and delivered in a manner that foregrounds respect for cleaners’ labour rights. Castle Towers Shopping Centre in Sydney was one of the first retail assets to complete the certification pilot program. Both Castle Towers and Robina Town Centre are now CAF 3 Star Certified buildings, and several other QIC property assets will be assessed for CAF Certification in the coming year.

Working with CAF, our collective aim is to standardise practices and uphold labour rights within the cleaning industry. CAF’s work extends to a range of activities including supplying tools for tendering processes, as well as conducting assessments of cleaning supply chain practices and of cleaning companies’ employment practices, including time and wage reviews and workplace health and safety standards to verify compliance with Australian employment and OH&S laws.

Both prior to being involved in CAF and as part of our ongoing tendering processes, the QICGRE tender pack for service contracts includes questions around itemisation of award wages, leave loading, sick leave, long service leave, payroll tax, workers compensation and superannuation. QICGRE's tender pack also includes a question around the use of subcontractors. We aim to avoid the use of sub-contractors to perform duties under our contracts where a specialist component is not evident, to maximise transparency in managing these important ongoing supplier relationships.

In partnership with our cleaning supplier, Trident, two cleaners at Robina Town Centre are CAF representatives. Their role is to maintain open communication between cleaning staff, management and the union to ensure that safe and quality services are provided at our centres, whilst employees’ pay and conditions are maintained to FWA standards.

Gerrard Tyler was grateful for the opportunity to become a CAF representative. “[I wanted] to represent fellow workers and be a bridge between our cleaning employees, employer and QIC for the benefit of the staff.”

Le’Vonne Whaanga was nominated by her peers as a CAF representative as part of the CAF worker engagement process and has really benefitted from the role, “I have gained more diversity [of understanding] from being just a union delegate,” she said.

Kathleen Hart, General Manager Robina Town Centre, has been involved in the CAF Certification of Robina Town Centre and has met regularly with Gerrard and Le’Vonne, the worker representatives: “At Robina Town Centre, our Centre Management staff are in regular consultation with cleaners in light of ever-changing requirements under lockdowns. Our cleaners are essential when it comes to the health and safety of our customers and it only makes sense to involve them in the decision-making process.”

ESG 2021