Employer returns FAQs

How do I determine start and end dates for my employees?

An employee’s start date is the date a worker commences cleaning work in NSW for your business.

An employee’s end date is the last day a worker performs eligible work for your business.

What is included in gross ordinary wages

Gross ordinary wages are wages before tax and any other deductions that are paid to a worker for cleaning work.

Gross ordinary wages include:

  • award or over award rate of pay
  • weekend work and public holiday penalty rates on normal rostered shifts forming ordinary hours of duty
  • toilet/refuse allowance
  • broken shift allowance
  • RDOs
  • long service and annual leave (when taken as leave)
  • bereavement leave
  • personal/carer’s leave
  • casual loading
  • sick leave
  • public holidays
  • workers compensation payments (where made directly by the employer)
  • jury service
  • first aid allowance.

What is excluded from gross ordinary wages?

Gross ordinary wages do not include:

  • overtime
  • travel allowance
  • meal allowance
  • leave loading
  • superannuation
  • lump sum payments for accrued annual leave
  • sick leave or long service leave paid out on termination
  • payments in lieu of notice
  • Christmas bonuses and ex-gratia payments
  • payments for materials and equipment
  • one-off bonuses
  • protective clothing allowance
  • workers compensation payments (paid by an insurance company)
  • redundancy payments.

This list is not exhaustive. Contact us for specific advice.

Who is covered?

A worker is someone who performs cleaning work for an employer in the contract cleaning industry in NSW. This includes full time, part time and casual cleaners.

Cleaning work is defined as work that has, as its only or main component, the bringing of premises into, or maintaining premises in a clean condition.

Examples include:

  • mopping
  • vacuuming
  • dusting
  • sweeping
  • carpet cleaning
  • high pressure cleaning of pavers, walkways and buildings
  • window and gutter cleaning
  • graffiti removal (not by overpainting)
  • swimming pool cleaning (not repair or maintenance)
  • housekeeping (including making beds, dusting, cleaning bathrooms, kitchens and appliances)
  • collection or removal of rubbish on or near a premises
  • cleaning of stadiums and public areas
  • cleaning and sanitisation of food processing plants.

This is not an exhaustive list. Contact us if you need specific advice.

Who is not covered?

Workers who spend the majority of their time doing the following are not eligible:

  • lawn mowing
  • garden maintenance
  • sanitary hygiene control
  • cleaning mobile plant and equipment
  • rubbish removal by vehicle
  • removal of waste oil/septic tank/grease traps
  • general handyman work
  • initial or final cleaning on new construction.

Other workers who are not eligible include:

  • cleaners not directly employed by you (contractors)
  • administration and office staff
  • supervisors not engaged in physical cleaning work for the majority of their time
  • working directors
  • partners
  • trustees
  • employees who are not registered with us and who work for you for less than five days during the current return period.

Work on Commonwealth land is not covered. A Commonwealth place includes places owned by the Commonwealth. Examples of Commonwealth places in NSW include military bases (for example, Holsworthy Barracks, Williamtown RAAF and Wagga Wagga RAAF), office blocks purchased by the Commonwealth to accommodate employees of Commonwealth Government Departments and Sydney Airport.

If you believe you have reported someone who is covered or have questions, contact us.

This is not an exhaustive list.

What if I have ceased trading?

If you have ceased trading you must ensure all quarterly returns are lodged and levies paid until the date of the last employee. For example, if your last employee was terminated 15 May 2015, the April to June 2022 return must be lodged and all levies paid.

After this, email us and advise the date the business ceased employing workers.

What if I have changed entities?

If you have changed business entities, check all quarterly returns are lodged and levies paid until the last date your business entity employed cleaning workers. Email us advising the date your first business ceased employing workers.

If your business is now operating under a new entity and employing cleaning workers on wages you will need to complete a new Employer Registration Application.

What if I have incorrectly reported an employee's gross ordinary wages, start date or end date?

Email us the details so we can help.

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