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"Fair deal for cleaners makes business sense for our industry," says Nviro
The Government's commitment to raising the bar for low-paid workers has been welcomed by cleaning and facilities management services company Nviro, which is calling on the rest of the industry to go further by supporting a true 'living wage' for its employees.
Nviro managing director Brian Warren is urging the cleaning industry to move away from price competition effectively based on wage costs and to focus more heavily on quality of service and efficiency.
"The Chancellor's Budget announcement should encourage more to consider workers' wages when letting contracts," he says.
"There is a strong business case, as well as an ethical one, for paying a living wage. We attract better recruits, reduce costly labour turnover and have a more motivated, engaged and effective workforce."
Nviro had demonstrated these benefits working for clients committed to the Living Wage.
Workers on these contracts receive the London Living Wage of £9.15 per hour (set by the Living Wage Foundation). Outside the capital, Nviro policy is to target its Outside of London UK Living Wage of £7.85.
Nviro welcomes the Government's decision to have a statutorily enforced 'Living Wage' of £7.20, rising above £9.00 by 2020, but warns that adopting the 'Living Wage' label and retaining the National Minimum Wage (£6.70 from 1st October) has caused confusion. Welcome though the increase was, the Government's new NLW was still below the majority of the market rates in the South of England, where Nviro operates.
Another concern was that some public sector clients squeezed by funding cuts could be forced to reduce service levels or seek efficiencies, leading to job losses.
"Whatever way you cut the cloth this would reduce labour, which makes up 80% of our costs," says Brian.
"Our industry has made great progress over the last 20 years. At Nviro, we live up to our company motto - 'cleaning with a conscience' - by respecting our people as well as the environment. I hope this fresh national focus on workers' wages will spread fair employment terms and professionalism even more widely."
23rd July 2015