Human Resource Management

HRM Guide Updates

Scrooge employers forget the cleaner

15 December 2004 - It seems that over two-thirds of office cleaners do not get invited to Christmas parties, according to the British Cleaning Council (BCC)

Paul Pearce, BCC Chairman said: "Despite their best efforts to keep business premises clean and tidy for office staff, cleaners continue to remain an invisible presence in the working world.

"We are saddened at such findings as without our silent army of cleaners we'd be working in squalor."

BCC's survey illustrates the plight of the cleaner and the poor image of the 12 billion industry that employs a staggering two million people - one in twelve of the country's workforce. The survey included employers from teaching, printing and charities.

Paul Pearce continued: "I would be interested to see how attitudes would change if our cleaners took a holiday. If they all stopped working and no one took over, we would soon see our country grind to a halt. Hospitals and restaurants would face closure and our streets would be awash with litter and rodents scavenging on our rubbish."

Cleaners are not considered to be part of the workforce, especially when they are part of one of the contract teams used by around 45% of businesses. And there is also the issue of low pay - some respondents commented that the cleaner could not afford to join in the frivolities.

One cleaner worked with a company for eight years before she received an invitation to join other staff on a work event. When her company got round to inviting her she declined after having been overlooked for so long.

Sue Nelson, Vice Chairman of the BCC added: "Cleaners are up against negative perceptions where their role is considered sub standard. No wonder they are overlooked, many office employees often don't even know their name!

"It would be great to see companies buy their cleaners a Christmas present at the very least. Many of them will be working over the festive season while the rest of us have our feet up."


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