Your industry news - first Number 1 for Recruitment
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Over the 15 years Cleanzine has been broadcasting we've run a few pieces that compare cleaners' wages with wages earned in other industries.
0There's a new report in today's issue and although the future's not rosy for cleaners who are saving up to buy their own home, this has more to do with excessive property prices than it has to do with cleaners being the poorest paid workers in the land.
For although they're still on the list of those who are most hard-up, they're not at the bottom!
When I joined this industry in the early nineties and for many years after that, contractors could lose crucial members of their workforce if the local supermarket advertised for evening cashiers and night-time shelf fillers. They were paying a fair bit more an hour than the contractors were and this was enough to encourage the cleaners to move on. Back then the emphasis was put on training (leading to promotion) and making cleaners feel valued, which on the face of it is good but if you're not earning enough to feed the family and pay the bills, then however much training you're getting, doesn't matter, does it? When it comes downs to survival, people do what they have to...
It was with some delight then that I saw in this latest report that cleaners are moving up the league table and although, on average, they're not earning anything like their worth, their pay is gradually increasing.
I know a lot of this has been down to regular small rises thanks to what was the legislated National Minimum Wage and is now the National Living Wage - which currently stipulates that over-25s must earn £7.50 an hour. Some contractors though, made the decision to pay the Living Wage which is based on the real cost of living. This is currently £8.45 an hour for workers aged over 18, rising to £9.75 in London (www.livingwage.org.uk).
Whenever I speak to the contractors who voluntarily pay that higher rate, they tell me that it was the best decision they've made. They have a stable, happy workforce whose members can concentrate on the job in hand instead of worrying about how they can make ends meet. Staff turnover is reduced, standards are higher and contracts are retained.
I feel our industry is helping spearhead the Living Wage... and for that I applaud all those involved.
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6th July 2017