This report surveyed and interviewed 500 cleaners across the UK to report on working conditions in commercial cleaning and to imagine a better future for the sector.
- 70% of respondents said excessive workloads were a problem. Participants cited underpayment and negative health impacts as the key negative results of excessive workloads.
- The experiences described by participants in our research demonstrates that working in the cleaning sectors comes with many risks to both the worker’s physical and mental health. Participants regularly used terms such as ‘backbreaking’ ‘abusive’, ‘inhumane’, ‘painful’ and ‘stressful’ to describe issues such as workloads and shift work.
- Despite this, just 21% of the participants in our research reported being allowed to take sick leave. Unsurprisingly, ‘sick pay’ was the issue raised most frequently by participants in our Listening Campaign.
- 34% of respondents mentioned low pay as a key issue.
- Overall, 32% of cleaners involved in our research raised issues related to bullying, harassment and discrimination. Asked directly if they had been discriminated against, harassed or assaulted at work, 53% of our survey respondents said they had.
- 27% of respondents mentioned short, anti-social and split shifts as a key issue in the cleaning sector.
- 24% of participants in our research were on zero-hour contracts, and 20% mentioned job insecurity as a key concern.