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Ask the Expert


Q. I am a facilities manager and previously we have always employed an in-house cleaner. However, our company is now expanding and our demand for cleaning will be increasing considerably. We have decided to use a contract cleaning firm but how do I know I can trust the company that we decide to use?

A. It is very important to make sure you have confidence in the contract cleaning company that you employ. You have to know that you can trust them completely and that they will carry out the cleaning within your premises to a high standard, whilst making sure they are always aware of health and safety issues relating to their duties and responsibilities.

In order to have trust in the contract cleaning company that you use there are many important factors that you need to consider. These include:

Training: Are the cleaning operatives fully trained and if so what particular training have they undergone? Do they know how to safely work with chemicals and store, check and use equipment correctly?

Health and Safety: What is their health and safety policy? Are they approved by the National Britannia Safe Contractor scheme, are they accredited to The British Safety Council? Will they provide a risk assessment of your premises?

Employee Welfare: How do they incentivise their employees? Do the cleaning operatives earn more than the minimum wage? Are there any employee award schemes? At Peartree

Cleaning Services we believe that our employees are our most valuable asset and as such we always keep them informed of developments within the company. We ask for input and suggestions, offer a competitive rate of pay, encourage employees to succeed and progress, and reward them for their hard work and effort.

Insurance: Make sure the company you are considering is property insured and ask to see their insurance certificates. Do they have employers’ liability insurance and do they have public liability insurance?

References: Ask for client references. What other companies are they working with and can they provide references from any of these clients? How long have they been working with their clients and do they normally have contracts renewed?

Staff Vetting: How do they vet their employees? What proof of entitlement to live and work in the UK do they ask employees to provide?

Corporate Memberships: Although not a necessity or a requirement, it may be worth considering what corporate memberships the contract cleaning company you are considering belongs to. At Peartree Cleaning Services we are an active member of a number of corporate bodies that promote the interests of the cleaning and facilities industries such as the British Institute of Cleaning Science, Cleaning & Support Services Association and the British Institute of Facilities Management.

Uniforms and PPE: Will the cleaning

operatives easily be identifiable to your staff and security? For example, all cleaning operatives at Peartree Cleaning Services are issued with our corporate uniform and any protective clothing that is appropriate to their function. We can also tailor the uniforms to match clients corporate branding and colours if required.

Charges: Has the contract cleaning company supplied you with transparent costs detailing the number of operatives needed, hours to be worked, rates of pay and all other associated labour, equipment, uniform, PPE and chemical costs, and have they shown their management fee/margin. Has any specialist periodic cleaning costs been included and itemised with suggested frequencies. Where possible get these costs included at the initial stage rather than potentially paying over inflated costs later into the contract.

The above are just some of the things that you can find out about before committing to a contract with a cleaning company. Make sure you are 100% happy that you can depend and rely on them. As always don’t be afraid to ask questions.

If you have a question for the expert, please email: Your question could be featured in the next issue of Tomorrow’s Cleaning.

The future of our cleaning industry | TOMORROW’S CLEANING | 23 FEATURE

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