The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Saturday, 14 December

Human Rights - Improving Working Conditions for Cleaners

A campaign to improve working conditions in the cleaning industry has been launched by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) which has backing from businesses such as Sodexo and Facilicom and trades union UNISON which joined the EHRC’s cleaning taskforce last year.

The campaign follows the EHRC report The Invisible Workforce: Employment Practices in the Cleaning Sector that was published last August.

The new campaign has brought together the recommendations from the report with the taskforce developing principles for responsible procurement. They are aimed at encouraging clients that buy in cleaning services to consider the impact of procurement on the employment practices of cleaning providers.

The taskforce has also developed a range of materials which are available from the dedicated campaign – Clcik Here – to help promote the value of cleaning operatives and to provide cleaners with valuable information regarding their employment rights.

Sodexo points out that its employee recognition schemes, annual Service Excellence Awards, together with its commitment to the Living Wage Foundation’s Service Provider Scheme, are highlighted in the campaign as initiatives which help to improve workplace conditions.

“With around 9,000 cleaners employed by us throughout the UK and Ireland across a range of working environments including the healthcare, corporate, education and defence sectors, our success relies upon employees who are engaged, motivated, and effectively trained,” explained Lauren Kyle, Cleaning Development Manager at Sodexo. “While infection prevention and control is essential to patient care in healthcare facilities, high standards of cleaning in all environments can help to promote wellbeing, reduce absenteeism and improve productivity.”

“We are pleased to have contributed to the Working Group for Dignity & Respect” said Phil Smith, Corporate Relationship Director at Facilicom. “The Commission’s commitment to improving working conditions for the nation’s ‘hidden workforce’ is not only driving a step-change in best practice for cleaning employers but is crucially delivering a wake-up call to everyone to take notice of, and respect, those who keep our world clean."

For its part, UNISON has stated it is ‘delighted’ that the EHRC has embarked on the project as well as recognising what it argues are often potentially poor employment practices. It has over 40,000 members who work as cleaners across both the public and private sector. “We are particularly pleased that we were invited to be part of the taskforce set up to explore the issues further,” said Michelle Singleton, speaking on behalf of UNISON.

Picture:   Sodexo and trades union Unison are among those backing a campaign to improve the working conditions in the cleaning industry. 

Article written by Cathryn Ellis

Share



Related Articles

An End to Outsourcing - SOAS' Social Justice and Equality Plan

SOAS University of London is to stop outsourcing its core support services to private contractors from September 2018. The announcement was made by the School of...

 Read Full Article
London Living Wage, Diversity and Training at Heart of TfL Plan

Transport for London has awarded a new cleaning contract to ABM UK meaning 2,800 people will be guaranteed the London Living Wage. ABM has also committed to offer...

 Read Full Article
8 Solutions Purchase Brings ABM Acquisition Total to Four

ABM’s UK business and industry group has announced (Feb 28) the acquisition of one of the UK's leading providers of specialist technical cleaning and data...

 Read Full Article
Poison Ivy Ensures No Peace Lily at Heathrow

Some cleaners at Heathrow have written to  the Airport hierarchy to complain they are effectively not receiving the London Living Wage which was promised in the...

 Read Full Article
Giving Gull Attacks the Bird

One of the country’s leading experts on gull control is warning that the current spate of gull attacks across the UK will only increase if action is not taken by...

 Read Full Article
Foreign Office Brushes off Cleaners' Complaints

Fourteen cleaners at the Foreign Office employed by Interserve have complained this week of victimisation following a letter they sent to the Foreign Office asking for...

 Read Full Article
Brokenshire's Britain - Full Force of Government to Hit Employers of Illegals

War has been declared on cleaning companies, building firms, care homes and others that employ illegal migrants. Immigration Minister James Brokenshire has said: "We...

 Read Full Article
New & Improved - Cordant Lays Down Its Brand

The Cordant Group, which has operated in both the recruitment sector (with an emphasis on the blue collar services) and the cleaning, security and M&E compliance...

 Read Full Article
National Campaign to Attract Youth to Cleaning & FM

With fears of an ageing workforce and impending skills gap gripping the sector, The Building Futures Group has launched a national campaign with the aim of attracting...

 Read Full Article
And Here is the Ten O'clock News

Bong...cleaners to do a shift on Big Ben. Bong...they will also do a thorough inspection. Bong...any maintenance work will be done on the hoof or scheduled for later in...

 Read Full Article