This case study originally appeared in Cbus and Cbus Property Modern Slavery Statement (December 2020) page 14.
Cbus Property’s risk assessment has identified the cleaning industry as a sector where Australian workers are at risk of exploitation and there is a potential risk of modern slavery practices.
The Cleaning Accountability Framework (CAF) is a multi-stakeholder industry initiative that aims to improve labour practices in Australia’s cleaning industry through the promotion of ‘decent’ work and employment standards.
The CAF certification program is a way for building owners like Cbus Property to gain assurance that the cleaning contractors working at our buildings are safe, treated fairly and with respect, and have ‘decent’ work. The CAF certification standard includes labour conditions, responsible contracting, safe working conditions, financial viability, worker engagement, issue identification and remediation.
The certification process importantly includes worker engagement, as a key method to identify indicators of modern slavery conditions, such as debt bondage, coercion and threats related to immigration status.
The CAF is specifically an anti-modern slavery mechanism, addressing the issue of exploitation by ensuring the promotion of decent work, and is the most advanced and robust program in Australia to address modern slavery risks in the cleaning industry.
In support of this innovative program, Cbus Property joined the advisory group of the CAF in 2018. In late 2019, we received 3 Star CAF certification at 720 Bourke Street, Docklands, the first building in our portfolio to achieve this milestone.
Through this process, we learned that the CAF certification approach promotes positive engagement between the stakeholders, which then fosters an inclusive and respectful environment that not only benefits our cleaning teams but also our property management team and our tenants.
Cbus Property has committed to obtain 3 Star CAF certification across our portfolio of assets by 2022, as part of our anti-modern slavery approach to cleaning services at our buildings. We utilise CAF’s resources, such as their pricing schedule when tendering for cleaning contracts to ensure decent working conditions.
Cbus Property has a commitment to obtain 3-Star CAF certification at our assets by end of 2022.
For more information, visit https://www.cbusproperty.com.au/sustainability-strategy/