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From Invisible & Underpaid To Essential Workers – Why Cleaners Deserve The Living Wage

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The conclusions of a research conducted by the Equality and Human Rights Commission are examined in this article. The investigation looked into the contract cleaning industry’s hiring procedures. We used the outcomes of this study to benchmark our company in order to improve our hiring methods. We hope that more companies will adopt similar best practices in order to improve the contract cleaning industry’s employment standards.

Cleaning employs about 450,000 people, mostly women, and has a larger than usual percentage of ethnic minorities, migrant workers, and older workers. According to the labor force study, the cleaning business employs 79 percent workers. This is much greater than the Dublin labor force, which has a female workforce of 47 percent. In the cleaning business, ethnic minorities account for 44% of workers, which is significantly higher than the Dublin workforce, where ethnic minorities account for only 16%. In the cleaning business, migrant workers make about 30% of the workforce, compared to 15% in Dublin. When compared to the broader Dublin workforce, the cleaning business has a younger workforce, with 26% of workers aged 45-55 and another 22% aged 55 and up.

Respect and dignity

We all share the principles of dignity and respect, however cleaners in Dublin are not treated with these values. Cleaners take pleasure in their work, but they do not believe they are treated with the same decency and respect as other employees. Cleaning workers frequently refer to themselves as “invisible” and “the lowest of the low.” Some companies even prohibit cleaners from using facilities that are available to other employees, such as the kitchen or canteen.


Tender value generally defines what cleaning companies are able to pay its cleaners in the cleaning industry, and low pay is common throughout the profession, with rates often close to or below minimum wage. Pay rates for cleaners questioned from various sources ranged from €5 to €7.50 per hour in the private sector and from €6.31 to €9 in the public sector. This suggests that some private-sector employees are paid less than the minimum wage.

Outsourcing’s Effects

One of the numerous reasons why many businesses outsource their cleaning is to save money. Outsourcing has no negative consequences, although it can have an impact on hiring methods and working conditions. Cleaning bids are frequently chosen based on the lowest price, putting pressure on cleaning companies to provide high-quality services at the lowest possible cost. Cleaning companies frequently cut costs in order to increase revenues or just stay in business. Low-cost cleaning does not foster strong ties between the cleaning company and the client, and it can lead to cleaners’ working conditions deteriorating.

The importance of cleaners has gone from being invisible to being essential as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak

Cleaning services have seen an upsurge in demand in several sectors as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Many people have been more conscientious about keeping their workplaces and homes clean. Many people have asked about extensive cleanings to reduce the chance of Covid-19 spreading in their workplace or home. While the majority of Dublin has been placed under lockdown, vital workers like as the NHS, TFL employees, and cleaners have become more important. Often referred to as the “invisible labor,” these workers are now at the forefront of the fight against the Covid-19 outbreak. The Covid-19 virus has introduced a new risk for these workers, who are now working in higher-risk environments. While most people are safe at home, these crucial and often low-paid workers are putting their health at danger to offer these vital services.

What does the term “Living Wage” mean?

A living wage is the minimum salary that allows a worker to meet his or her basic necessities. This fluctuates depending on the cost of living, with the cost of living in expensive places being much greater. The United Kingdom’s Living Wage The hourly hour is €9.30. The Dublin Living Wage is established at €10.85 per hour since Dublin is the most expensive city in the United Kingdom. It is based on people’s needs rather than their job or experience, therefore it applies to cleaners, clerks, repairmen, and all other city workers.

Companies are not required to pay their employees the Living Wage, although some do. It is a standard that is entirely voluntary. The good news is that paying the Living Wage has numerous company benefits, which is why hundreds of businesses opt to do so. To maintain the same level of life, workers in Dublin must earn a greater income than workers in other parts of the city. The city’s high cost of living has been a source of contention in the past, but many modern enterprises are working to address the issue. They can do so by paying the Dublin Living Wage, which takes into account the city’s particular economic circumstances to guarantee that workers can make ends meet. Paying the salary provides as many benefits for the company as it does for the workers, which is why every company should consider it.

The Importance of Paying a Living Wage to Cleaners

Paying a cleaner to keep your office clean may appear to be an expensive prospect. You can find yourself seriously considering employing a budget cleaner: someone who will come in, take care of the cleaning responsibilities, and charge you a lower service. Paying your cleaner the Living Wage, on the other hand, has a number of benefits.

1. Turnover is reduced by paying a living wage

Employees in a dire situation may typically take whatever work they can get, even if it pays less than the Living Wage. They will, however, move on to a job with a higher rate of pay as soon as they have the opportunity, resulting in a high rate of worker turnover for businesses that do not pay their cleaners a Living Wage. Paying a Living Wage, on the other hand, attracts cleaners who want to work for your company in the long run.

2. You get better employees if you pay a living wage

Simply said, paying a low income results in unmotivated and dissatisfied employees: individuals who are unwilling to go the extra mile for their employer or their clients. Employees who know what they’re worth look for positions that will pay them what they know they’re worth. You can attract individuals who are prepared to go above and beyond in their jobs by paying a Living Wage. They’re usually highly motivated, detail-oriented, and eager to get their hands filthy, which is just what you need when it’s time to clean your office.

3. Increasing Dedication by Paying a Living Wage

When you pay a living wage, you not only acquire better employees from the start, but you also boost employee dedication. These personnel want to keep their jobs, therefore they’ll go above and above in their shifts every day. Paying a low wage, on the other hand, might make it difficult to inspire personnel, particularly when they work alone, as many cleaners do.

4. The Living Wage Contributes to Economic Stability

Paying a living pay benefits not just your employee but also your company. It also contributes to the growth of the economy. Employees who are paid a Living Wage can often make decisions they wouldn’t be able to make otherwise, such as getting married, having children, and making purchases that support other local companies. When money is invested in lower-paid people, they are more likely to spend it than when it is invested in higher-paid people, who are more likely to keep it. As a result, when businesses band together to agree to paying their employees a decent wage, the economy benefits.

5. Employees who are happy are more productive

While paying a decent salary isn’t the only factor that influences employee happiness, employees who don’t have to worry about putting food on the table or keeping the lights on are more likely to be content. People who are happy are more productive, which means they are more likely to flow smoothly through your company and, in many circumstances, keep costs down because productive employees do cleaning chores more quickly.

Companies should follow good practices.

We believe that all of our cleaners deserve at least the Dublin Living Wage, which is why Eco Clean Solutions is a Dublin Living Wage accredited commercial cleaning company. We pay it when it is possible, and occasionally even more. We’ve compiled a list of some of our best practices, which we urge other companies to adopt.

1. Tenders at market and living wage rates are available

We offer clients a contract at the market rate as well as a contract at the Living Wage rate, where we pay the cleaner the Dublin Living Wage. Despite the fact that the Living Wage contract is more expensive than the market rate, we always explain to potential clients the benefits of choosing it. By giving clients the option of paying the cleaner the Living Wage and informing them of the benefits, we increase the likelihood that they will choose the Living Wage rate and, as a result, the number of cleaners we have who earn the Living Wage, which is €10.85 for us because we are based in Dublin.

2. Appreciating Employees

Our employees are our most valued asset at Eco Clean Solution. Every member of the workforce is treated with dignity and respect on an equal basis. According to a survey by the Equality Human Rights Commission, cleaners often feel like the lowest of the low. We’ve found that merely greeting employees as they enter the facility and thanking the cleaners goes a long way toward making them feel valued. We also express our appreciation to our cleaners by paying them at or above the Dublin Living Wage, which is always more than the minimum wage.