Heads Up Australia | Case study | Clean Force

Heads Up Australia | Case study | Clean Force


Clean Force is a commercial cleaning company, we clean around 150 premises everyday throughout Melbourne. Where we are unique is that we deliberately
set out to employ people with a chronic mental illness, people who weren’t able to get jobs
in the general labour market. My name’s Paul Fraser, I’m the manager at
Clean Force Property Services. I think what I really love most about the
job here is it’s actually seeing our people not only survive in the workplace but thrive
and go on to bigger and better things. There’s no really typical normal day. Often
when we have somebody starting work at Clean Force, two hours, three hours may be the maximum
amount of hours they can work in a day, and they might not be able to sustain that over
a full week. The types of barriers that people face, they
may have some impacts in their cognitive skills, so things like concentration, memory, learning,
decision making, those sorts of issues. Being able to do something independently or
initiate a task independently is another significant challenge for a lot of people when they step
back into work after a long time out. Clean Force has a lot of different strategies
that we use to help our employees with their mental well being. One of those strategies we use is developing
employment action plans. We learn and understand what the employees
are capable of and we try and develop a program that’ll enable them to settle in to the workplace,
to build upon their hours, to meet their individual goals. Our employment support officer will meet very,
very regularly with each individual employee. They’re able to get regular, consistent feedback
about their performance, they feel in a comfortable, safe space to talk about issues that might
be impacting on them both within the workplace and outside of the workplace. One of the strategies that we use is a government-approved
system called the supportive wage system. We assess a person’s productivity compared
with the industry standard and what we would expect of somebody paid a full award wage. We’ve enabled the person to work at a productivity rate that’s comfortable for them, and our
hope is that every employee will eventually achieve a full award base wage. For us as an employer, it also enables us
to manage our workflow and maintain our competitiveness as a cleaning company. Clean Force has been around now for 13 years.
What we’ve done has worked brilliantly for us. Our business model is a great model for both
the employee and for us as an organisation. We have had over the years quite a lot of
people transition from Clean Force into the mainstream work force. When we see that, we know that we’ve done
a great job. We know that we’ve been part of that journey
to helping a person succeed to achieve the things that the rest of us take for granted.

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