Spotless dubbed “Novapay of the contract cleaning industry” as staff struggle with pay
E T has dubbed the contracting company, Spotless “the Novapay of the contract cleaning industry” after months of problems with workers’ pay.
E t industry co-ordinator, Jill Ovens says pay issues are systemic among cleaning contractors, but Spotless reached a new low after introducing a new payroll system before Christmas last year.
She says thousands of workers are affected, with complaints of underpayment, incorrect holiday pay, no pay at all some weeks, as well as not getting pay slips “which makes it hard to prove where the problem lies.”
Jill says there are also problems with the voice recognition software used by workers to clock on and off.
“It doesn’t seem to recognise Pacific Island voices or if someone has a cold”, and when that happens, people can’t get into the payroll system to be paid.”
Correcting mistakes can take weeks or months.
At Mangere’s Southern Cross school campus, seven cleaners claimed pay arrears in February of about 300 hours work.
“The issue still hasn’t been resolved”, says Jill.
The cleaners can’t speak publicly because of the media ban imposed on workers by Spotless.
But one cleaner who spoke to E t says he had to use his savings to pay the bills.
He is now more than $300.00 in arrears to Housing New Zealand and having to borrow money to feed his young family.
He says, “I save money for the kids, but it’s sad; I had to use it to pay overheads. My kids are suffering. Last week, I couldn’t pay for milk powder for my 4 month old.”
Jill says the union has been patient while Spotless worked with its Australian managers to resolve its payroll problems, which are now the subject of a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment payroll audit.
But, she says “we’re now into May and the problem seems to be escalating. The latest is we’ve been told hospital cleaners and kitchen workers aren’t going to get their pay rise and back pay which goes back to last October, until the end of May, at the earliest.”
E t’s anonymous cleaner says; “I work hard and I should be paid fully so I don’t have to ask people for money.
“I was told “go to Winz, they’ll help. But I don’t need Winz. I need to be paid.”