During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re relying on cleaners to ensure our surroundings are safe. Everything from door handles, desks and toilets through to the floor beneath our feet, is kept clean and disinfected by an army of, often invisible, workers.
Last month, the government issued a list of critical workers including those in health and social care, education and childcare, key public services, local and national government, food supply chain, public safety and the transport network. Notably absent in the list were cleaners, despite their crucial role during this time.
Now, the British Cleaning Council (BCC) is campaigning for cleaners to be classed as ‘critical or key workers’ to ensure the highest hygiene standards so we can come out of the crisis quicker. By contrast, the Republic of Ireland has named cleaners as key workers if they’re supporting essential industries, with the BCC urging the UK government to follow suit.
In a statement, Paul Thrupp, chairman of the BCC, said: "The cleaning industry represents nearly 4 per cent 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. The BCC and its members call on the government to keep our people at work, maintaining the hygiene of the country and providing vital sanitisation services. With proper support, our staff can carry on with their invaluable work in order that together we can defeat this awful disease."
Now, the BCC is urging employers of cleaners supporting these critical industries to write letters for their staff which can be produced as evidence their work is essential, should they be stopped by police on the way to work.
Cleanliness is vital in the UK’s critical industries and institutions during the fight against COVID-19. If workers become ill from poor workplace hygiene then critical organisations could grind to a halt, which would have detrimental consequences for the whole country. It’s clear that the role of cleaners has never been more important than it is now, and hopefully, the classification as ‘key worker’ from the government is imminent.
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Cleaners are in higher demand than ever before. If you need to add more cleaning professionals to your team, PRS can help. Our highly experienced, trained and fully reference-checked cleaning staff are ready to take on a range of commercial cleans, either during or outside of standard working hours.
Our consultants ensure all cleaning work is carried out safely and to the highest standards, with the right training and PPE provided. For our cleaning recruitment team, it’s business as usual so get in touch today to find out how we can help.