Excerpt from INCLEAN Magazine article on April 8, 2020
Workforce critical to industry’s survival: CAF
There are 2.17 million people presently in Australia on a temporary visa and around 139,000 temporary skilled visa holders, on either a two-year or four-year visa.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, of the 2.6 million casual workers in Australia, around 955,000 have been with their current employer for less than a year.
Poonam Datar, CEO of the Cleaning Accountability Framework (CAF), said social security provisions such as the JobKeeper and JobSeeker wage subsidies are “critical lifelines” for workers whose livelihoods are already or are set to be impacted by the economic fallout of COVID-19.
“Temporary visa holders contribute significantly to Australia and industries such as cleaning, which have been classified as essentials services, are largely made up temporary visa holders. Without government support, who can these workers turn to?
“In order to support the economy getting back on track it’s critical to keep these essential industries functioning and ensuring labour forces of these industries continue. When businesses do re-open it will be with added precautions… more cleaning resources and even more specialised cleaning resources will be needed.
“Industry groups need to work together to ensure the cleaning industry survives, and critical to that survival is its labour force. Employee representatives could have a greater impact lobbying together for more safeguards for the cleaning industry.”