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Appreciating Cleaning Staff On i-Recognise Day

Appreciating Cleaning Staff On i-Recognise Day
07 September 2022

On 16 September, i-Recognise Day will celebrate the contribution of cleaning staff across the globe.

The sole purpose of the day is to raise the profile of the cleaning sector, acknowledging cleaning operatives across the globe who deliver an invaluable and essential service for us all. 


World Clean Up Day


Endorsed by The British Institute of Cleaning Science, the awareness day is now in its fourth year. It also falls alongside World Clean Up Day on 17 September, where everyone globally is encouraged to get involved to do their bit to clean up their local environment.

This year, i-Recognise is being supported by ISSA, Medirest, Vinci Facilities, ISS, Serco, Tersano, Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners, i-Team Global, Killis Ltd and many more.


The Skills Shortage in the Cleaning Sector


Post-pandemic cleaning operatives are more crucial than ever, with many working long hours to keep our buildings clean so every individual feels safe in these environments. The number of people employed in the cleaning, hygiene and waste sector in 2021 was approximately five per cent of the UK workforce.

COVID-19 has gone some way to raising awareness of the contribution of cleaners, but there remains much more to do, particularly given the current skills shortage and recruitment issues in the sector.

Speaking in September 2021, British Cleaning Council (BCC) Chair Jim Melvin told ThisWeekinFM of his concerns: "While there are skills shortages and arguably a skills crisis in many sectors across the UK, we believe that the cleaning and hygiene industry is one of the areas where businesses will be hardest hit by problems in recruitment. 

"Many firms are struggling to recruit the staff they need and the situation is getting worse daily. Some of this may also be down to the change in immigration rules following Brexit which effectively classified the work of cleaning operatives as 'unskilled' and made it much harder for the sector to employ workers from overseas.”


Additional Pressures on Cleaning Staff


Cleaners also continue to take on extra responsibilities, in light of the growing demand from building occupiers for highly visible cleaning. This has also resulted in an increased demand for deep cleans, sanitisation cleans and decontamination cleans across the industry.

In response to the pandemic, many cleaning and hygiene sector clients revised specifications for cleaning staff, for example, to complete additional tasks such as ensuring touch points are clean, employing additional numbers or day staff or providing 24-hour cleaning.

All businesses are being encouraged to help promote the day by sharing posters and using the hashtag #iRecognise on social media. Online banners are also available to download at

Picture: a photograph of a person on a stairwell using a vacuum cleaner.  Image Credit: BCC

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 07 September 2022


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