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I’ve always supported the UK Government’s commitment to initially introducing the National Minimum Wage and ensuring that it increased regularly, with the aim that every employee would receive a fair wage. As the annual rises have been fairly small I’ve wondered how they can make much difference to the lives of those on that basic minimum, but with the cost of living having been fairly stable, I figured that the increases were probably just about acceptable. Not so now of course, with the cost of living having gone through the roof and so many more people struggling to make ends meet. Yesterday’s announcement that the minimum hourly pay under what is now known as the National Living Wage, will rise next April from its current £10.42/hr to £11.44/hr, (a 9.8% increase) for workers aged 21 and over (as opposed to the current aged 23 and over) means that anyone working a standard 37.5hr week, will see their pay rise by £1,994.36p.a. and their monthly pay by £166.20. The rate for 18 - 20-year-olds will rise by almost 15% to £8.60/hr, while the rate for 16 - 17-year-olds and apprentices will rise 21.2% to £6.40 per hour.
This initially had me feeling relieved for hard-pressed workers but then had me wondering how some companies are going to cope. Will cleaning contractors, for example, who are currently paying the NLW and just about keeping their heads above water, be able to get their clients to pay extra to cover the increases, which we mustn’t forget will now include younger employees too? Or will they be forced to swallow the increases themselves, rather than risk losing the contract to a rival who may perhaps just have a way of completing the required work in fewer hours? Will corners be cut in cleaning processes? Will machines and equipment be serviced and upgraded as often as required and will chemicals still be used at the recommended dilutions? Will companies that previously gave younger staff the chance to pay their way through 6th Form and university with part-time cleaning work – an opportunity both my daughters enjoyed – stop bothering with young people keen to learn the ropes?
According to the Low Pay Commission, over the lifetime of the NLW full-time workers have earnt £9,000p.a. more than they would have done otherwise - without any increase in unemployment. However, I’ve seen how the ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) expansion throughout London and similar schemes elsewhere have damaged local economies along with the livelihoods and wellbeing of those without compliant vehicles or the funds to pay a £12.50 daily ‘fine’. Plus the way LTN’s (Low Traffic Neighbourhoods) have increased commuting times and impacted on the delivery of supplies. Are we about to reach tipping point I wonder? We all need to live but we also need jobs. And without those jobs we can’t live. Your thoughts please?
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This Week's News
One of the primary chlorine disinfectants currently being used to clean hospital scrubs and surfaces does not kill off the most common cause of antibiotic-associated sickness in healthcare settings globally, according to a new study.
Research by the University of Plymouth has showed spores of Clostridioides difficile, commonly known as C. diff, are completely unaffected despite being treated with the high concentrations of bleach used in many hospitals. In fact, the chlorine chemicals are no more effective at damaging the spores when used as a surface disinfectant than using water with no additives.
Jangro, the largest network of independent janitorial distributors in the UK and Ireland, has introduced a new range of floor cleaning machines for both indoor and outdoor cleaning to its portfolio. The new collection comprises vacuum cleaners, extraction machines, scrubber dryers, sweepers, and pressure washers to clean almost any flooring effectively, anywhere.
Durable, reliable, and versatile, the new machine range has also been designed with the environment in mind. Demonstrating Jangro's commitment to eco-sustainability, the components of each machine are made with recycled plastic.
Mitie has unveiled its Transformation Hub which demonstrates the cutting-edge technology it is using to drive Facilities Transformation. Based in its London headquarters in The Shard, the Hub showcases Mitie's investment in the latest innovation to help customers embrace five key mega-trends:
* Accelerating the path to net zero by reducing energy use and generating cleaner, greener power
SRFC Bio, a biotechnology company that develops continuously active antimicrobial surface cleaners and coatings, announced this week the launch of its third-generation antimicrobial technology product in the UK.
The product cleans surfaces, disinfects bacteria and viruses at application, and keeps killing 99.9% of bacteria for up to 48 hours after it dries without leaving any visible or sticky residue. The technology was successfully launched in the US in October 2022 and will now be made available internationally.
Following yet another successful event this year, ISSA Pulire has confirmed that the next cleaning trade show in the series - the 27th - will take place from 27th to 29th May 2025 at Italy’s Rho Fiera Milano exhibition centre – one of the largest exhibition centres in the world.
As more than 60% of the trade show space has already been booked, this upcoming event is looking as if it’s on course to be just as successful.
Enviro-Master, a leader in commercial hygiene solutions, has announced its latest partnership with SaniPod, to introduce an innovative range of sanitary disposal units to its extensive service offerings in the US and Canada.
This strategic collaboration marks a significant step in Enviro-Master's commitment to enhancing washroom hygiene and customer experience in commercial establishments.
Delphis Eco, the renowned eco-friendly cleaning products company which supplies innovative products to the commercial and retail markets, has this week launched a pilot scheme to trial emissionless same-day and next-day deliveries for its London business and retail customers.
As part of its ongoing ethos of continually looking at new ways to drive sustainability and lower emissions into its customer offer, the multi-award-winning manufacturer has partnered with Quiver to offer fresh innovation as to how its products can reach customers, quickly and sustainably.
Bunzl Canada is excited to announce that Bunzl Cleaning & Hygiene has been awarded the Great Place to Work certification, recognising employers who exceed standards of employee satisfaction compared to typical Canadian workplaces.
Through making talent development, diversity and culture a top priority, Bunzl Cleaning & Hygiene has successfully cultivated a vibrant workplace buzzing with opportunities for learning, supportive camaraderie and a team-based approach to growth and success.
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