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CPD appoints marketing expert
CPD plc, one of the UK’s
leading suppliers of
cleaning and hygiene
Cleaners Exploited
products, has appointed
an industry expert to
manage its corporate
Tomorrow’s Cleaning Editor, Charlotte Taylor reports…
Marketing department.
Debbie Nice took up the
While sat at my desk in the office, I came across the exclusive investigation by The Times,
role of Sales & Marketing Director in April
2009, bringing 23 years of office products sales
which has just recently revealed the ruthless exploitation of a number of cleaners in the UK.
and marketing experience to the company. I got angry. I sawred.
Debbie’s previous experience includes working
As I read on, I discovered that cleaners in some of London’s most-established hotels are being paid
as Marketing Director for Office Friendly, a dealer
less than half the minimum wage to fully service rooms that can cost as much as £400 each night.
association made up of 160 office supplies
resellers with a collective turnover of £300M.
A number of immigrant workers have been paid as little as £100 for a 40-hour week. The workers
affected include Poles, Lithuanians, Slovaks and Latvians. What angered me is that these workers
are all from the so-called A8 European Union countries whose citizens have freedom to work in
A Gem of inspiration Britain. So why is it fair that they are being exploited?
Dave Campbell from Sheffield’s Gems Hygiene
can certainly ‘walk the walk’ in business and
Gangmasters are reportedly doctoring their employee’s timesheets and claiming to pay an hourly
he is now showing he can ‘talk the talk,’ by
rate but instead paying staff by the number of rooms cleaned – setting impossibly high targets
providing inspiration for local entrepreneurs.
that could never physically be met.
Mr Campbell was the guest
What concerns me, more than anything, is that these hard-working people are essentially being
speaker at the recent
robbed of their hard-earned money, and in turn they are being treated as ‘just cleaners.’ Why is this?
‘Be Inspired…’ event held
on 8th July, at Sheffield
Without the cleaning industry - the manufacturers, the suppliers, the contract cleaners - where would
United’s Platinum Suite.
we be? In a dirty, germ-infested world that’s where. The problem is, is that no-one seems to notice
the hard work that has gone into servicing a room, a public toilet, or an office. Yet, when mistakes are
Guest speaker, Dave,
made, people take notice. Well, a mistake has been made of entirely different proportions.
outlined his experiences of
establishing and running Gems Hygiene, and
The employees mentioned work at some of the top hotels in London, where high standards have
shared his secrets of success, offering tips on to be met. So standards should indeed be met everywhere, including matters of employment.
how to achieve career goals. He also discussed
strategies and techniques for selling
I can only hope that the Government treats this with the utmost sincerity it deserves.
professionally and developing a business.
What do you think? Email
For the full story visit The Times Online.
Paul Dumbleton of Beech Jones de Lloyd Solictors:
I advise great care. If you think that you might fall foul of any of the
things mentioned by The Times, then you should take legal advice
“It is to be hoped that the relevant authorities and the Government will
as soon as possible.”
take all appropriate action to remedy the injustice being heaped upon
these workers.
However, it is important for ALL employers and employment agencies
A spokesperson of the British Cleaning Council, said:
to note that they run a high risk of both civil claims being brought and
“This report displayed the consequences of failure to invest in cleaning,
criminal sanctions being imposed upon them for the type of practices
exposed by The Times. Indeed, the hotel chains themselves run the
which leads to inadequate hygiene levels and has serious ramifications
same risks since they could well be treated as the de facto employer.
for the public’s health.
All employers should be aware that simply giving someone the label of
Cleaning is the forgotten service that is vital to every industry, especially
'self employed' does not make it so. The likelihood is that the person or
within the tourism sector. It is the first thing guests and visitors notice
company who is seeking to hide behind such labels and/or recruiting
and should be prioritised accordingly.
via an Agency will still be held liable for amongst other things: Additionally, the British Cleaning Council criticizes organisations that
• Breaches of minimum wage regulations
force their employees to work for less than the minimum wage.
• Race and/or Sex Discrimination claims
Many trade unions and contract cleaners, including some of our members,
• PAYE & NI contributions
have been campaigning to raise the wage of cleaners above the legal
minimum wage, while all of the members at the British Cleaning Council
• Claims for Unfair dismissal take their legal and ethical obligations very seriously.”
| TOMORROW’S CLEANING | The future of our cleaning industry
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