Code of Conduct for Fair Service Provision in Shopping Centres

What is the Code of Conduct?

The Shopping Centre Council of Australia (SCCA) and Building Service Contractors Association of Australia (BSCAA) have updated the ‘Code of Conduct for Fair Service Provision in Shopping Centres’ (the Code of Conduct), originally implemented in 2012. The purpose of the Code of Conduct is to provide a framework within which the shopping centre sector can be assured that cleaning services are compliant with current requirements, meet best practice, and tenders reflect a financial setting that enables cleaning service providers to supply such a standard of service.

This is achieved through a commitment to the ‘Principles of Fair Service Provision’ contained in the Code of Conduct.

The Code of Conduct provides a structure for discussions between shopping centre landlords and cleaning service providers, with the aim of:

  • Establishing an industry consistent approach to cleaning-related matters and an appropriate forum to discuss an industry approach to operational standards.
  • Identifying and mitigating risks in cleaning supply chains as a core aspect of business operations – an issue owned and managed by the sector.

To ensure that the Code of Conduct is successful, the Code Administration Committee (CAC) will monitor its application; providing a forum for consideration of industry wide issues relating to the provision of cleaning services, and a means to make recommendations for best practices to address those issues.

The Code can be accessed here

Why has the Code of Conduct been updated?

The Code of Conduct has been updated to reflect new and emerging industry practices, new government regulations, enhanced cleaning requirements and practices, public/community assurance, industry commitments and government public health messaging, to incorporate consideration of breaches, complaints and disputes, and regular reporting.

This reflects a renewed commitment by the SCCA and BSCAA to work closely and proactively on matters for which we are mutually accountable.

The Media Release (21 September 2022) announcing the updated Code of Conduct can be accessed here

How does the Code of Conduct affect contracting arrangements and tenders?

The Code of Conduct is intended to be attached to SCCA member tender documents and form part of the negotiation of contracts and contract administration.

The Code of Conduct has been adopted by the SCCA and the BSCAA as best practice recommendations, and is not binding on members unless agreed to in contractual arrangements.

Code Administration Committee (CAC)

The CAC monitors the efficacy of the Code of Conduct. It provides a forum for advising on complaints or disputes about the operation of the Code, facilitating a regular and proactive dialogue about all related matters.

The CAC is the predominant forum and most effectual means through which responsible property services and contracting practices will be deliberated on and through which any necessary change can actioned at a sector-level.

The CAC meets at least quarterly, as a ‘touch point’ and/or to for complaints or disputes about the operation of the Code of Conduct.

The CAC comprises up to seven representatives as follows,

  • Up to three representatives nominated by the SCCA.
  • Up to three representatives nominated by the BSCAA.
  • An Independent Chair, by mutual agreement of the SCCA and BSCAA, if considered appropriate.
  • The SCCA Executive Director and BSCAA Chief Executive Officer are representatives on the CAC.

A detailed overview of the Role and Scope the CAC can be accessed here

Why are fair service provision and cleaning important in shopping centres?

Our sector is committed to high standards of corporate responsibility. The Code of Conduct reaffirms the shopping centre sector’s commitment to high standards of corporate responsibility and an expectation that cleaning service providers will treat their employees and contractors fairly, with respect and dignity, and abide by applicable awards, standards and laws.

Shopping centres a highly visited public places, and include shopping centre and retail staff, customers and other visitors. Shopping centres remained open to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic and reinforced their role as an ‘essential activity’ (e.g. facilitating access to food retailers and pharmacies) and community hub.

A key focus of shopping centre owners is to ensure a clean, safe and secure environment for all visitors. This is across all areas including entrances, common mall areas, bathrooms and food courts. Shopping centre owners and managers expect cleaning services to be of a high standard, which cleaning service providers deliver on.

Shopping centre owners and managers are responsible for the cleanliness and hygiene of their assets, which is governed by government and regulatory requirements and customer expectations. Cleaning requirements are tailored to individual centres.

As public spaces, cleaning within shopping centres is inherently different to other spaces. For instance, shopping centre cleaners perform what is generally known as ‘day’ cleaning (versus ‘night’ cleaning for office buildings) and interact with members of the public during trading hours.

Shopping centres have remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, which is attributable to the standards set by shopping centre owners and managers – informed by continuous engagement with government and public health authorities and regulators – and the responsiveness of, and execution by, cleaning service providers.