Wage Rates and the Labour Market Within the Cleaning Industry

In the wake of the pandemic, which has emphasised the importance of hygienic practices, cleaners are more in demand than ever before. Not only can a professional cleaner take the stress of keeping germ-free office, store, school or museum, but with their specialist equipment and expert knowledge, they can often get a much deeper clean done in a time-efficient way.

The Effects of Brexit and Covid
One study by Business Matters magazine reports that over 25% of people employed in the cleaning industry don’t have British nationality [https://bmmagazine.co.uk/business/brexit-and-the-cleaning-industry/]. This has resulted in a decrease in the labour market post-Brexit as fewer people are willing to come to the UK to work, so wages have to go up to attract more staff.

What’s more, these figures do not take into account COVID-19, which has increased the demand for cleaners whilst reducing the workforce due to self-isolation rules and illness.

What Can We Do?
When jobs are plenty and available workers are few, there is increased competition among industries to attract employees. In addition to attractive wages, cleaning companies must do what they can to stand out and become more enticing to the shrinking labour pool. Here are several ways companies can stay ahead of the game:

  • Retain employees. When employees don’t leave, you don’t have to replace them. Employee turnover is costly, so offering competitive or better than average salary is paramount.
  • Attract new types of employees. In a dwindling labour market, offering a higher-than-average salary i.e. higher than the National Minimum Wage (which is set to rise to £9.50 for those 23 and over in April 2022), may attract people that would not normally consider these types of roles, as the cleaning industry is synonymous with low pay.
  • Engage employees. Retention and engagement are not the same. Engaging employees means making them want to stay, not just for monetary reasons; making them feel like they make a difference, that management cares and wants them to succeed.
  • Optimise benefits. Competitive benefits packages are second only to wages when it comes to keeping employees around and attracting new ones.

What Impact Will This Have?
Overall, the average hourly and yearly pay for cleaners are set to rise due to the increase in demand. This will impact both the cleaning companies themselves, where staff costs account for a significant proportion of company resources, and the customer procuring the services, who will also be faced with increased costs.

TSS will work with their current and future clients to ensure they continue to provide a consistently high quality, flexible, customer focused and cost-effective service to all.