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Tuesday, 14 July

BCC Appeals that Cleaning Staff Must be Considered as ‘Critical or Key Workers’

BCC appeals that Cleaning staff must be considered as ‘critical or key workers’
20th March 2020
 

The Government published a list of ‘key workers’ on Friday 20 March 2020 whose children will continue to be cared for at school amid the coronavirus pandemic – but the British Cleaning Council raises concerns that cleaners are not included.

The Government has requested that all schools provide optional care for a limited number of children, which includes critical and key workers, stating on Gov.UK:

 

“If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision:

  • Education and childcare
  • Key public services
  • Local and national government
  • Food and other necessary goods
  • Public safety and national security
  • Transport
  • Utilities, communication and financial services

If workers think they fall within the critical categories above, they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.”

– Gov.UK website

 

There is further information on which jobs are included detailed under each category, but cleaners are notably absent in the initial version. This means that parents working in the cleaning sector are not eligible to apply for childcare provision from schools – which jeopardises their ability to work under the social distancing protocol.

The British Cleaning Council (BCC) has responded to this omission with the following appeal:

 

Cleaning staff must be considered as ‘critical or key workers’

 

AS we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic together as an industry, it is my duty to keep you informed about how the British Cleaning Council (BCC) is campaigning to ensure that people within our industry are viewed as essential ‘critical or key workers’ who are needed more than ever to ensure we not only maintain but elevate hygiene standards in the UK in order to come out of this crisis quicker.

 

The BCC and its members have the staff, products, equipment and machinery to reduce the risk to human health by providing & maintaining clean, sanitised and safe premises and environments. Our regular day to day cleaning staff and our specialist and periodical industrial and window cleaning staff all have a major part in improving the environmental hygiene of the UK.

 

Even in lockdown, premises and particularly education, retail, healthcare establishments and care homes will require more frequent sanitisation regimes at what may well be a premium time to do so. Our cleaning staff throughout the UK have the expertise, training and knowledge to carry out sanitisation, hygiene, clinical or decontamination cleans so it is essential that the workforce are kept available by being identified as ‘critical or key workers’ by the Prime Minister and the British Government. Additionally, our cleaning product suppliers need to remain at work to provide the consumables and products to clean with, from wipes and paper products, to disinfectants, sanitisers and cleaning products in general. And our machinery and equipment providers need to produce and supply specialist cleaning equipment that our staff can use.

 

The cleaning industry represents nearly 4% of the UK workforce and if we do not identify our people as ‘critical or key workers’ then hygiene in the UK will drop with the effect that the virus may flourish.

Support the BCC and all its members and keep our people at work maintaining the hygiene of the country and providing vital sanitisation services.

 

On behalf of the BCC, may I thank you for your support in these difficult times as with your support our staff can carry on with their invaluable work in order that together we can defeat this awful disease.

 

Paul K Thrupp

Chairman – British Cleaning Council

 

You can read more about The BCC’s Role Helping the Fight Against Coronavirus here

 

Article written by Daisy Miceli – published 20th March 2020

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