How to Find Out if Your Cleaning Contractor Pays a Fair Wage
Human Rights Resource Centre
If your contractor’s unfair practices have been reported in the press, the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre may have links to those articles. Search their “Find Companies” database or run a local search for a company name.
The UK’s Ombudsman Service publishes news about investigated cases relating to employment regularly. It’s a dynamic site, constantly improving its search tools to offer readers a more user-friendly experience. Justified complaints are given recommendations for reparation, but this doesn’t necessarily mean the business who’s been investigated has made the advised changes. The NGO, Citizens Advice, also reports on good performers annually, and can advise you directly of contractors who mistreat their workers.
“Best Employers” Lists
Each year, a number of business and consumer journals award titles to the best employers in the UK. The Independent, Telegraph, and Business Insider are three of the most respected of these. While work absence alone won’t tell you directly about unfair wages, it’s a red flag that staff may be below the minimum, so it's worth investigating. You can check PMI Health Group’s healthy workforce list
for the UK’s best morale boosting businesses.
The Cleaning Services Group
Accreditation is the most direct way to find out how well your contractor pays its workers. The Cleaning Services Group awards its mark to national cleaning contractors who adhere to UK governing bodies’ regulations.
The Living Wage Foundation
This organisation accredits businesses that pay a living wage rate specific to both London and the broader UK area. Fair salaries are calculated independently based on what staff and families need in order to live. Those under the age of 25 have their own, lower wage rate. These amounts are calculated every November and are evidence-based. The organisation also provides lists of its partners on its site if you need to check your contractor’s claims.
Sustainable business practices are a principle-based management technique, and your contractors’ human resources ethics are as important as those that affect the planet. Values like respect, listening, and transparency should apply as much to staff treatment as to the cleaning chemicals and techniques chosen. They affect your own business’ safety just as much, and their impact on your bottom line can be extreme.