As many of you reading this will know, there is increasing pressure on companies procuring staff in the coming months, post-Brexit. Staff retention is high at So Clean, but often difficult in the cleaning industry and with uncertain time due to General Elections, Terrorism and Brexit, this does not look set to become easier in the future.
I would like to touch on some of the recent situations within the UK.
Firstly the horrendous, Terrorist attacks in Manchester and London – events which aim to disrupt our way of living and more importantly our way of life. The impact is wide and obviously, we feel for those families who suffered directly and the loss they have incurred.
In addition, I sympathise with the staff and management who would have been called upon to play their part in the aftermath of the tragedy. This itself is traumatic and challenging, knowing what has gone on and being called upon to take part in the cleanup operation.
I trust those who are employed at the arena would have been offered appropriate support to help them overcome any concerns or fears about returning to work there.
As for the most recent London incident, I can honestly say that I admire my own staff for the way they have just got on with their jobs, given that pretty much 100% of them use public transport to get to work and a lot of them actually clean in busy public locations.
Particularly unwanted side-effects are staff dealing with offensive graffiti on toilets. Needless to say we have issued instructions to all of our staff to be vigilant and not to compromise their own safety and I’m pleased to say that our clients, whose own staff obviously face the same concerns, have been very understanding and taken the trouble to confirm our staff will benefit from their own heightened security measures.
I particularly liked a recent message by a member of TfL staff at London Bridge station that said: “London Bridge will not fall down and these attacks will not break our spirit”. As is so often the case in Britain, adversity has resulted in everyone pulling together and an increased sense of camaraderie is evident.
So, how will Brexit effect our business?
Well, like all cleaning contractors our company is made up of many different nationalities.
Staff frequently ask what I think will happen, and of course, I cannot give a definitive answer.
What I do know, is that it is vital for us to try and give assurances where possible and keep abreast of changes post-Brexit, especially as we embark upon leaving the EU. Our aim as a company is to adapt to a changing climate and deliver the same first class service, by ensuring our staff are kept happy and up to date with changes which may affect them.
One thing is for sure, leaving the EU has made the UK realise how much it relies on support staff in a whole wide range of industries.
We certainly encourage payment of the LWF Living Wage at So Clean and it will be ironic if future legislation restricts the labour supply and actually results in even greater improvements to pay and working conditions across our industry.
Either way, with what’s going on in the UK right now it’s going to be an interesting couple of years in the cleaning industry and I get the feeling we may be devoting an increasing amount of time to planning for the possible outcomes.