*Cleanzine-logo-7a.jpgCleanzine: your weekly cleaning and hygiene industry newsletter 25th November 2021 Issue no. 994

Your industry news - first    Number 1 for Recruitment

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The BBC's carrying a report on a New York-based cleaning company that's allegedly been penalising staff when they're unable to work because they're unwell, by both fining them and by preventing them from working in future. It's unclear whether the ban just relates to the contract the cleaner's failed to service because of illness, or whether the cleaner's no longer able to work for the company itself. Things are changing at the company though, because the client in question was angry at her cleaner's treatment and did something about it. That's refreshing, isn't it?

The report focuses on Polly Mackenzie, whose usual cleaner was unwell. Polly had hoped to reschedule through the app site operated by the company but was offered a replacement the following day, rather than her usual cleaner. She voiced her disappointment that although the company was supplying a replacement, it was banning the regular cleaner from working for her again "as a punishment". She complained and the ban was reversed, but she discovered that her cleaner had been fined £25 for not being able to work. Polly's account was credited with £5 'for the inconvenience' but she was clearly incensed at her cleaner's treatment.

She told the BBC that the fine meant the company had profited £20 from her cleaner's illness, (almost double what the company would have made, had the cleaner been able to work as planned).

Contacted by the BBC, the company denied that the cleaner had been banned but said she'd been automatically blocked by its system as she'd appeared as a 'no show'. It cancelled the fine and is now reviewing its policy regarding fees for emergencies such as sickness.

I just wonder how many good cleaners have lost their livelihoods for no good reason in the past - in many situations - because no-one's stood up for them. Perhaps this incident shows how important it is for the service provider to build a good relationship with the client, so they feel they're part of the same team...

No further news is available on the window cleaner who was seriously injured whilst working in London's Oxford Street on Tuesday. The man was apparently about to abseil down the four-storey building on which he was working with his son, when his ropes gave way. The Health & Safety Executive is investigating and I'm sure you'll join me in wishing him a full and fast recovery.

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Jan Hobbs

16th November 2017

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