COVID-19 has seen a small shift in attitude in the UK towards cleaners and the cleaning sector overall that in our option is long overdue but there is still some way to go.
Cleaners have always been referred to as the ‘invisible workforce’ with the huge contribution that they make to the country’s economy going largely unrecognised.
High standards of hygiene in not only the home but in public areas too is going to be imperative against the fight against coronavirus and any future viruses that may come our way.
In recent years businesses have focused on streamlining their operations and reducing costs and one of the things that has been impacted by this is the frequency of cleaning taking place, cleaning being carried out by ‘non cleaning’ staff or cleaning not really being carried out at all and although it has been proven that this contributes to higher staff absence levels it is only now that business owners and facilities managers are beginning to realise that larger investment is needed in cleaning programmes.
Hygiene levels not only need to be raised in this country but they need to be maintained too on a regular basis.
The cleaning sector will continue to be hugely important as the country recovers from COVID-19 with sanitisation and deep cleaning being essential yet despite all of this and the PM thanking cleaners for all their work, cleaners have still not been awarded ‘key worker’ status.
The BCC (British Cleaning Council) have been calling for this change especially as recent research showed that 1.63 million people are employed in the cleaning sector and it is one of the top 10 UK industries.
Here at USS, we have seen an increase in enquiries from educational establishments seeking deep cleans before potentially starting to reopen in June but few other sectors seem to be following suit and yet all businesses regardless of size or sector should be focusing on cleaning.
What do you think, should cleaners be recognised as key workers and what could you do differently to ensure a clean and hygienic workplace?
Let us know your thoughts on this topic.