In July 2015, George Osborne, the Chancellor of Exchequer, outlined details of what he called the National Living Wage. Not to be confused with the Living Wage as independently set by the Living Wage Foundation, the National Living Wage effectively replaces the Minimum Wage.
In April 2016, all workers in the UK over the age of 25 will be legally entitled to an hourly rate of Â£7.20 (up from Â£6.70). The Government also stated that they intend for this National Living Wage rate to increase to Â£9.00 by 2020.
The effect on the cleaning industry
Traditionally, the cleaning industry, as with many other service industries such as hospitality and leisure, employs a lot of people who may be affected by these changes. The benefits for employees is obvious â€“ and incidentally, we have always been advocates of a fair dayâ€™s pay for a hard dayâ€™s work â€“ but what will these increases in salary costs mean for cleaning companies and our clients?
Some businesses have warned that they may now have to make changes to their business models, which could result in higher costs for consumers, job losses and progression opportunities, but these were the same unfounded fears raised back in 1999 when the minimum wage was first introduced.
The benefits of paying a higher wage
Yes, this increased salary bill will lead to changes in the industry, but by further professionalising the cleaning sector and driving new innovations, technologies and productivities, not only can cleaners benefit from the changes but clients can too.
- 52% of workers at companies that have already adopted the living wage report feeling a greater loyalty to their employer.
- 54% of workers feel more positive about their employment and 32% felt it enriched their family life
- Employers saved money by reducing staff turnover rates (by as much as 25%) and lowering levels of staff sickness.
- Improved productivity, resulting from a fairer wage, could more than cancel out the increase in wages.
CCS, a responsible cleaning company
Our cleaning services rely on a dedicated, highly trained and well-motivated team of cleaners; that is what sets us apart from the competition. So whilst the minimum wage might be set to increase, so will the standards and productivity of the industry â€“ or at least at CCS.
If you would like more information on our contract cleaning services, please contact us on 0800 4488026