Melton Waves cleaners sacked without notice

Five cleaners at Melton Waves leisure centre turned up for work only to be told they’d been sacked.

Australian Services Union organiser Melissa Wainwright said the workers were shocked when they were handed a termination letter on Thursday, July 30, saying they were no longer needed and would be replaced by contract staff.

“To say these workers are shocked is an understatement,” Ms Wainwright said.

“To have your employment terminated is bad enough, but to have it done when you aren’t expecting it is something they are really struggling with.

“They can’t understand why management would treat them with such disrespect, seeing there was absolutely no consultation regarding a move to use contracted staff.”

Ms Wainwright said the union was “disgusted” with Belgravia Leisure, which manages Melton Waves on behalf of the council, for treating staff who’d shown “loyalty” over years “with such disrespect”.

“We will be ensuring that our members are supported through this process, including exhausting all industrial avenues. Staff at Belgravia Leisure deserve to be treated respectfully and with transparency.”

Belgravia Leisure regional manager Drew Hildebrandt told

Star Weekly the cleaners’ positions had been made redundant after “a review of the operation at Melton Waves”.

“The operational review determined that further efficiencies were required to protect the interests of the business and the rest of the staff team,” Mr Hildebrandt said.

But it wasn’t until after they were sacked that the five cleaners were told about possible future employment opportunities.

Mr Hildebrandt said Belgravia Leisure could “redeploy” the staff to other positions at the facility, but this would require skills training and more qualifications.

“Each staff member has been informed that we will welcome the opportunity to work with them on this, should it be a desirable option for them,” Mr Hildebrandt said. “Some were considering a move outside our industry.”

Mr Hildebrandt said: “Our ability to re-employ them at other Belgravia sites [as cleaners] was not possible as no available positions were available, with the majority of the management operating contract cleaners.”

Melton council was informed of Belgravia Leisure’s decision to sack employees but was not consulted, recreation and youth manager Adrian Burns said.

“Council will continue to monitor the cleanliness of Melton Waves and will address any future issues regarding facility cleanliness with Belgravia should they arise,” he said.