Cleaning ‘voice’ signs up to living wage - Palmers Solicitors

Cleaning ‘voice’ signs up to living wage

The body that describes itself as “the voice of the British cleaning industry” has become an accredited living wage employer and has urged other cleaning sector employers to do the same.

The Living Wage Foundation announced on 21 April that the British Cleaning Council (BCC) had achieved the status by committing to pay the living wage, currently set at £9.15 per hour in London and £7.85 per hour outside the capital, to its employees. In contrast, the main national minimum wage rate is £6.50 per hour.

BCC chairman Doug Cooke said: “The BCC has been a staunch supporter of the Living Wage Foundation for a number of years and we wanted to show our support and commitment by signing up.

“There are a variety of robust, ethical and pragmatic reasons as to why this campaign is worth backing, and I hope that by signing up, the BCC can inspire many other companies in the cleaning industry to follow suit.”

Mr Cooke highlighted benefits of paying the living wage, including improved staff retention, enhanced quality of work and lower absenteeism levels and said that his experience of paying the living wage at his own company had proved to him that it was “well worth the investment”.

He added: “It’s the right thing to do…and I believe that it’s a small price to pay for the dignity and pride of our workforce.”

Paying the living wage is voluntary but compliance with NMW rates is a statutory obligation on employers, who face tough penalties and the prospect of being “named and shamed” if they fail to meet their responsibilities.

So far, the names of 210 employers, who owed total NMW arrears of more than £635,000 and who must pay total penalties of over £248,000, have been publicly named.

The employment team at Palmers provides a comprehensive range of employment law services to help employers run their businesses more effectively and compliantly, including in relation to the NMW and other statutory payments, which include a white-branded HR package containing guidance, policies and sample documents, such as employment contracts, and other information for employers.

For more information about our employment law services or our HR package, please contact Lara Murray.