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Warning that the public’s health could potentially be put at risk by severe staff shortages in the cleaning and hygiene sector

Severe staff shortages affecting the cleaning and hygiene sector, combined with an increased threat from Coronavirus, could potentially put the health of members of the public at risk, the body representing the industry has warned.

The British Cleaning Council (BCC) fears that major recruitment problems could dramatically reduce the sector’s critical role in keeping public spaces free of the virus, at a crucial time in the nation’s fight against it, with infection rates relatively high, a new variant and with winter upon us.

The work of cleaning and hygiene staff is vital to protecting the health and wellbeing of the public, particularly during the current pandemic. Staff ensure workplaces and public buildings remain clean to help in ensuring they are germ-free and safe to use.
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BCC calls for industry APPG to urgently make progress on key issues

Crisis meeting called to discuss next steps

The British Cleaning Council (BCC) has urgently called on the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Cleaning and Hygiene Industry to drive progress on key issues affecting the sector.

Senior figures at the BCC are concerned that there has been a lapse in actions to achieve several key aims, which have now become even more vital due to the serious challenges the sector is facing.

The BCC is to hold an urgent meeting with its members in December to discuss a way forward.   

The BCC wants the APPG to back and fully support its call for Government help in the face of the severe staff shortages which have hit the sector and threaten the nation’s recovery from Coronavirus. Read more ...

Healthcare sector said to be ‘heading for disaster’ amidst calls for Government to take urgent action

The cleaning and hygiene industry is suffering ‘severe’ staff shortages with the rate of vacancies having increased dramatically, according to a new survey of the industry.

The recruitment problems facing one of the UK’s biggest industries could hamper the nation’s recovery from Covid-19, said industry body the British Cleaning Council (BCC). 

There was also a warning that the healthcare sector was ‘heading for disaster’ and fears that transport, leisure and food hygiene, amongst many other sectors, could also be badly hit.

Some of the cleaning and hygiene industry’s biggest firms took part in the BCC survey. Between them, the 11 firms reported 1,917 vacancies in total, with one firm saying the number of vacancies had increased by 252 per cent in the last six months, and another by 267 per cent.

The majority of companies taking part reported staff leaving because they were foreign nationals going home or were employees moving to other jobs, such as truck driving or in hospitality.

Until now, the cleaning and hygiene industry has depended on employees of all nationalities and overseas workers are proving difficult to replace. 

The BCC is calling for the Government to take urgent action to help it recruit the staff it needs. Read more ...

The Cleaning Show returns to highlight new cleaning and sanitation practices

The global pandemic has seen cleanliness and sanitation become a top priority for business owners and consumers alike. Helping showcase the latest advancements in cleaning practices and technologies, The Cleaning Show returns to ExCeL, London from 2-4 November 2021.

The show, organised by the British Cleaning Council and Quartz Business Media, is set to attract more than 7,000 senior cleaning professionals from across the contract cleaning, facilities management (FM), healthcare, hospitality, retail, and public services sectors – making it the UK’s largest and most important event in the cleaning and hygiene sector. And, as the first event in the sector to take place since the UK’s national lockdown was lifted, attendees will be able to connect, learn and discover new products, services, and suppliers at a critical time as businesses across the UK prioritise cleaning protocols to ensure returning staff and customers remain safe.

Preventative cleaning in a post-pandemic future

More than 60 leading cleaning suppliers are already confirmed to exhibit, including returning exhibitors, Evans Vanodine, Numatic, ICE, Karcher UK, MITIE, Nilfisk and Killis. Attendees will have the opportunity to test and source new and exciting products from these exhibitors, along with companies joining the event for the first time, including Apex Supplies, Team Software and Wepa Professional.

With new and recently launched innovations on display, attendees can find the solutions to help them meet the increasing demands for heightened cleanliness and sanitation in a post-pandemic future. For example, ICE, the UK’s largest independent provider of cleaning equipment, will be on hand to showcase its wide range of future friendly cleaning solutions. Among its newly launched products, ICE unveiled its new UV Bot – the latest in its co-botics range designed to advance autonomous cleaning through innovation. It enables the operator to add disinfectant and set tasks before the self-driving UV bots begins its work. It is complete with 3D obstacle avoidance and 360° UV-C and ultrasonic dry mist disinfection.

One of the largest specialist cleaning providers in the UK, MITIE Cleaning Services, will demonstrate the importance of clean, safe environments for maintaining the productivity and wellbeing of customers and employees. The award-winning company works across a wide range of sectors including Government and Defence, Healthcare and Education, Technical Services, Business Services to Private sector clients in Manufacturing, Transport, Retail, providing essential services and deploying industry leading technology to create safe and effective workspaces.

Among the first-time exhibitors joining the show is Wepa Professional which will showcase its new Satino disinfection range. Offering premium solutions for hand hygiene in public spaces, Satino by WEPA disinfection stands offer touch-free sensor control, combined with quick installation and uncomplicated handling. Ideal for medium and high-frequency use, the range is ideal for a wide range of applications in hotels, offices, production facilities, medical practices, retail and more.

New to 2021, attendees can also find out more about floor care without compromise using Timberline Cleaning Equipment – available exclusively in the UK through Apex Supplies. While TEAM Software will highlight its leading software for security, cleaning and facilities management companies, designed to help manage the workforce and back office systems.

Lessons learnt during the global pandemic

Reflecting on lessons learnt during the global pandemic and celebrating the hard work and achievements of cleaning professionals across the UK, The Cleaning Show conference makes an eagerly awaited return. It will provide a platform for attendees to learn and discuss the latest developments, and the critical next steps for an industry on the frontline of public health and safety. Industry experts will come together to discuss the role of cleaning in protecting public health and safety; how autonomous cleaning can support and enhance current cleaning practices; and how employing new technology can deliver a modern cleaning service.

Demonstrating excellence

New for 2021, the Cleaning & Support Services Association will be hosting its 2021 CSSA Innovation Showcase in a dedicated pavilion at the event to highlight and celebrate the industry’s most innovative cleaning products, services and initiatives. Businesses and organisations operating throughout the industry can enter their innovations via the CSSA website. Prior to The Cleaning Show, the CSSA will hold an Innovator's Pitch with a panel of leading industry experts who will review and interview all entrants and select those to be exhibited at the Innovation Showcase itself. Visit for further information on submitting an entry.

Jim Melvin, Chairman, British Cleaning Council, said: “This past year has more than demonstrated the importance of the cleaning and hygiene industry, which reacted and helped significantly and professionally in safeguarding and protecting the public in order to ensure that the UK’s commercial and public spaces are safe.

“Continuing to spearhead innovation, the industry has quickly adapted to all of the emerging challenges, and we are truly excited to return to the ExCeL, London as the first physical event for the sector to demonstrate our collective collaboration in continuing to drive the industry forward at such a critical time.”

Stuart Dacre, Event Director, The Cleaning Show, added: “As the UK goes back to work, we are delighted to connect the industry face-to-face once again, and look forward to announcing our best-in-class educational programme and exciting show features in the coming months. It really will be an event that no cleaning professional can miss.”

Registration for The Cleaning Show 2021 is now open. To register today and find further information on this year’s programme, visit


More News From The Council


About The British Cleaning Council

Established in 1982, the British Cleaning Council (BCC) is the authoritative, collective voice of UK’s cleaning, hygiene and waste management industries.

The council’s membership is made up of 22 trade and membership associations which all represent different industry sub-sectors. From contract cleaning to waste management, pest control to housekeeping, training providers to machine manufacturers, chemical suppliers to wheelie-bin washers – the BCC coordinates, campaigns and supports the affairs of the UK’s entire commercial cleaning ecosystem.

Key priorities for the BCC and its membership include raising professional standards, employee health and wellbeing, career development and training, improved quality control and better procurement practices. It is also committed to promoting higher levels of cleaning and hygiene across all environments – commercial, domestic and public.

Learn More About The Council

ImageAPPG for the UK Cleaning and Hygiene Industry

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Cleaning and Hygiene Industry was inaugurated in February 2021, with the support of a sizeable number of MPs from all the major political parties and members of The House of Lords.

The group exists to promote the critical importance of the cleaning and hygiene industry to the people of the United Kingdom.

The APPG is operated by MPs and members of the House of Lords with the British Cleaning Council acting in the role of secretariat and organising a significant number of steering groups in seeking to carry out the industry’s clear, focused and much needed strategic aims.

For additional information, please email the APPG’s secretariat via Simon Hollingbery at

Learn More About The APPG


BCC personnel


Jim Melvin

Deputy Chair at the BCC.

Group Chief Executive of The Exclusive Services Group.

CSSA Representative at the BCC.

Committee Member at the Celtic Trust.

See Profile.


Delia Cannings

Deputy Chair at the BCC.

Director at Environmental Excellence Training & Development Ltd.

See Profile.

Simon Hollinbery, a former BCC Chair, is the council’s Company Secretary.

Visit The British Cleaning Council