The election is over but nothing is still any clearer, it delivered surprising results and uncertain times still lie ahead especially for the cleaning industry and its clients who are perplexed as to where the future lies with staff that are employed from countries across the EU.
Employers are concerned about staffing levels and staff are concerned about their rights to remain in the UK, in the short term there could be some teething problems but if proper safeguards are not implemented moving forward, the impact could be catastrophic.
Being part of the EU has certainly meant that labour has been easier to find, to date 180,000 people have settled in the UK each year from neighbouring EU countries. The downsides of this however have been people entering the country illegally with fake passports, people migrating here but still flying back to their native country to collect benefits there or people claiming benefits here but sending them home overseas. Brexit may reduce this and ultimately give us a more stable workforce of established and experienced staff.
The greatest challenge we envisage for the cleaning sector will be resourcing staff, low skilled workers are just as critical as highly skilled workers if the country is to run successfully. It has been reassuring to hear that this is being taken into consideration and the Immigration Minister has been debating a points based systems for sectors such as cleaning and hospitality but whatever lays ahead, the flow of labour will drop.
So what can we do about it? Switching from many part time staff to less full time staff, apprenticeships to encourage careers within the sector and employing and training ex-servicemen are just a few things to consider and why wait to see what happens over the coming months politically, take control now and the cleaning sector could shine.