The Voice

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CHAIRMAN’S INTRODUCTION The Coronavirus pandemic has posed huge challenges to the country and brought tragedy and distress to many. The cleaning and hygiene industry, like many parts of the economy, has been significantly affected, sometimes with unexpected and uneven consequences, and much of this latest edition of the British Cleaning Council’s newsletter relates to that subject. On pages four and five, we detail the results of an audit of the cleaning and hygiene industry, which we carried out through our members to try to assess how it has fared since March. The results paint a picture of an industry where different sectors and even different businesses have a totally different story to tell. In some sectors, there has been a huge demand for cleaning and hygiene products and services while other sectors have languished. Even businesses and organisations in the same sector have been affected in radically different ways, some stretched to capacity trying to meet surging demand while others have furloughed much of their workforce. One constant factor during the past few months has been the incredible, brave job done by many cleaning and hygiene operatives, working to protect the health and well-being of others, ensuring that vital industries are kept going and helping to support the NHS, sometimes at risk to their own health. This vital role has been appreciated by the country at large and cleaning and hygiene operatives have been praised in Parliament. For years, the British Cleaning Council (BCC) campaigned for recognition of the role of the ‘invisible’ workforce and

finally we are seeing it – though I wish it hadn’t been in such unhappy and tragic circumstances. There is now much more emphasis on cleaning and hygiene in the UK than ever before, as people seek reassurance that they can work in, shop at and visit places despite the risk from the virus.

Sadly, this has opened the door for profiteers to take advantage, and new entities have sprung up aiming to capitalise on the public’s fears about Coronavirus and some confusion about how best to protect against it. The profiteers are cashing in by offering products and services which appear to offer a solution but which may not actually be that effective and are often overpriced. In order to defeat this profiteering and help the UK to tackle Coronavirus, the BCC and its members have worked together to publish comprehensive and accurate advice on cleaning and hygiene, and you can find out more about our guide to cleaning terms on page six. Another unexpected consequence of the virus could be way it drives


the more widespread adoption of advanced cleaning and hygiene technology. Demand is surging for cleaning robotics and co-botics (the interaction of people and robots) which are being introduced to supplement the work of cleaning and hygiene personnel in order to drive up standards, consistency and provide the high-profile and visible cleaning which Coronavirus demands. How technology is being used to fight Coronavirus is just one of a number of fascinating and relevant topics you can find out more about as part of the free, virtual exhibition and conference taking place on the 14 and 15 October 2020, and you can read all about this on the next page. On page six, you can read about research showing the true scale and importance of the cleaning and hygiene sector. Finally, there’s news from across the cleaning and hygiene sector on pages seven to nine. I hope you enjoy the read.

Paul Thrupp Paul Thrupp, Chairman, British Cleaning Council




VIRTUAL MANCHESTER CLEANING SHOW WILL BE UNMISSABLE The virtual version of the Manchester Cleaning Show - being held on 14 and 15 October - allows attendees to enjoy an experience as close to attending the physical event as possible while sitting at your computer, tablet or other mobile device. It includes a chance to visit national and international exhibitors in their virtual booths, the opportunity to listen to relevant and exciting prerecorded presentations and a way of interacting virtually with other attendees, and of course, it’s free to attend. The physical Manchester Cleaning Show it replaces has been postponed until September 2021. This will still be the premier trade show in the North of England for the cleaning and hygiene sector, attracting over 2,000 visitors, and is also free to attend. The virtual Manchester Cleaning Show taking place this month will showcase the vital role the cleaning and hygiene sector has played in

tackling Coronavirus and highlight how the industry can continue to support the economy to reopen safely. Some of the world’s most wellknown and innovative companies are exhibiting, and visitors can view profiles, see information and company videos, send messages, and join live meeting rooms within an exhibitor’s own video booth. As part of the pre-recorded conference programme, expert industry figures and high-profile business leaders will offer insights into a range of topics of interest to anyone with a connection to the cleaning and hygiene sector.

Lorcan Mekitarian, of Berry bpi and the Cleaning and Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA), will discuss single use plastics after Covid-19

Dr Eileen Buttimer, of Oakland Innovation, will give her thoughts on how science and technology will drive cleaning forward in the future

Nik Wyers, joint MD, The Floorbrite Group, will focus on adapting a business to thrive during the pandemic

Paul Ashton, CEO of Birkin Cleaning Services, will chat about his experiences during the pandemic and his thoughts on the future of commercial cleaning

Stan Atkins, of the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc), will highlight the importance of training and assessment

Attendees will also be able to exchange business cards, send messages and request meetings with other attendees. The show is co-produced by the sector’s industry body the British Cleaning Council (BCC) and Quartz Business Media. Chairman of the BCC, Paul Thrupp, will be opening the event as well as speaking on the second day. He said: “There is so much to discuss right now. So many exhibitors have products that can help the UK get back to business and so many individuals need the support and the contacts that an event brings. “The virtual Manchester Cleaning show provides the industry with this opportunity to come together and will be a fantastic event.


Entrepreneur and media commentator, Dominic Ponniah, of Cleanology, will discuss how technology will enhance cleaning post Covid-19

The innovative software being used to host the event allows attendees to view video sessions at the allotted time in the virtual auditorium, join live chats and ask speakers questions.

“We were sad to postpone the physical Manchester Cleaning Show, but it was the best course of action. It is one to look forward to for next year.” Neil Nixon, Conference Director, said: “The opportunities that this virtual event offers – particularly as it is being hosted on a really innovative platform – will make it unmissable for cleaning industry professionals. “There are no apps to download, you can view everything on a device of your choice, and it will deliver exciting content and business solutions for visitors and a vital commercial opportunity for exhibitors.” FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT REGISTERING OR EXHIBITING AT THE VIRTUAL MANCHESTER CLEANING SHOW 2020, visit manchester


CLEANING OPERATIVES WIN PRAISE AS INDUSTRY ASSESSES THE EFFECTS OF CORONAVIRUS The Coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown have had a huge, and sometimes completely opposite, impact on different sectors, businesses and individuals within the cleaning and hygiene industry. A British Cleaning Council (BCC) audit of members shows that organisations and individuals are having to adapt rapidly to the major changes brought by the virus. A consistent theme throughout is praise for the dedication of the cleaning and hygiene operatives who have been doing vital work protecting the health and wellbeing of others and keeping key industries going since the pandemic began. The Association of Healthcare Cleaning Professionals (ahcp) represents many of the cleaning and hygiene key workers who have been on the frontline fighting the virus. Delia Cannings, ahcp National Lead for Education and Training, said: “Cleaning operatives in the healthcare sector played a key role during the pandemic and have done an incredible job, with many going above and beyond, working longer hours, taking on extra responsibilities and adopting new standards and practices to prevent Covid-19 contamination. “Ahcp members played a vital role getting the Nightingale Hospitals set up and staffing them and will continue to operate them in the coming months as we strive to recover from spikes in Coronavirus cases.” Jim Melvin is a director at the Cleaning and Support Services Association (CSSA) and Deputy Chair at the British Cleaning Council. He echoes praise for cleaning operatives and highlights the uncertainty caused by the virus among cleaning contractors. Jim said: “Coronavirus has changed the contract cleaning market significantly but it is different for every business. “A great many buildings and businesses remain closed and many


staff are furloughed. When clients have returned, they are at significantly reduced staff levels, which by definition reduces the service. “Clients are changing their requirements on an almost daily basis and members are needing to be agile and flexible enough to reflect that. “Our cleaning and hygiene operatives have faced an unbelievably difficult and fearful time responding both bravely and magnificently to all this.” BCC member the Cleaning and Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) represents manufacturers and distributors of cleaning and hygiene products where, like in much of the industry, the impact of Coronavirus has varied from business to business. Demand for cleaning products for the catering, leisure and hospitality industries has collapsed, leading to employers furloughing workers. But other industries continue to be very busy, for example, manufacturers of hand and hard surface sanitiser along with plastic sack, apron and soft tissue makers. Demand for some products has soared while supply has simultaneously shrunk, forcing many companies to take new measures to carefully manage the exceptional situation. CHSA Chairman Lorcan Mekitarian said: “The cleaning and hygiene supply chain has proved itself to be responsive, flexible and adaptable. “We expect the majority of members to perform well in future as the economy recovers. “But distributors serving primarily or solely the catering, hospitality, leisure, retail and similarly hard hit sectors may not survive the severe economic shock created by the pandemic.”

Lauren Kyle representing the Business Services Association (BSA) added: “Our members operate in a wide range of sectors, some of which - such as sports and leisure, transport, and retail - have seen a downturn, while others – such as schools, and hospitals - have seen heightened demand for cleaning and disinfection. “In the longer term, FM industry insights suggest that corporate clients will look to review and rationalise property portfolios to adapt to an increase in agile working, with many employees working more from home. This indicates that there could be changes in the delivery of day to day cleaning at client sites in the long term as they review their use of space.” Window-cleaning and hospitality have both been hard hit. The UK Housekeepers Association (UKHA) represents cleaning operatives and managers in hotels, and their suppliers. Angela Jaquiss of the UKHA said that most hotels had been closed from March and most cleaning staff were on furlough. “It could be a slow climb back to some sort of normal,” she said. The Federation of Window Cleaners (FWC) said that many members had been furloughed during the pandemic. FWC Chairman and Safety Officer Andrew Lee, who is also Director at JA Lee Window and General Cleaning, said: “In my own business, we had literally hundreds of our customers temporarily cancelling their work. We laid eight out of our ten window cleaners off. “Since then, we have introduced a socially distanced domestic service and have also diversified into sanitising and fighting the Coronavirus


Cleaning operatives providing Covid-19 cleans in Langdon Hospital

on client premises, public transport, buildings and offices. “It has been a long, hard and frustrating period and whilst I believe things are starting to improve, it is going to be some time and a lot of hard work before we get back to normal or the new normal, as it is called.” But some sectors were looking to the future with more optimism. Ian Andrew, CEO of the British Pest Control Association, said: “We think pest control will perform well in the future. Pests don’t realise there is a global pandemic, although some have changed their behaviour since the pandemic began.” The National Association of Wheeled Bin Washers (NAWBW) said it had seen workloads increase since March by an estimated 10 percent thanks to more commercial organisations taking up their services. When the Domestic Cleaning Alliance (DCA) surveyed its membership in August, it found almost all respondents had stopped providing all services on the day of the lockdown announcement or had stopped earlier – but prospects have improved recently.

The specialist team which carried out the vital clinical clean at the NHS Louisa Jordan Nightingale hospital before it opened

measures, and using additional PPE where appropriate, he said. Other members also expect the way their sector operates to change in future because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The UKHA expects there to be much more cleaning and sanitising in future, to a higher level, in hotels, while some CHSA members are developing facilities in the UK and Europe to avoid a repeat of supply-lines from the Far East being restricted. Several BCC members also said that Government action or improved regulation would help their sectors adapt to the ‘new normal’. Among them was the NAWBW.

Stephen Munton from the DCA said: “Our industry sector was significantly affected initially, but as business has returned in recent weeks, there has been an overwhelming sense of positivity.”

Marius Coulon, Managing Director of the NAWBW, said: “It is time the Government started to regulate our industry and encouraged both the water companies and Environment Agency to police their own rules and guidelines.”

Members are taking extra steps to reduce the risk of Coronavirus contamination while they are in other people’s home, for example by implementing social distancing

Andrew, of the FWC, said: “The window-cleaning industry needs clear guidelines on internal cleaning within hospitals and nursing home environments.

“Something else would be a clear statement, perhaps from the Health and Safety Executive, that misting, fogging, spraying of disinfectant and sanitising should not be carried out without cleaning. “ Jim, who is BCC Deputy Chair and a CSSA director, said: “We believe that there is an opportunity for both Government and the industry to review the lessons learned during the pandemic (both good and bad) to collectively increase skills training for operatives. After the vital work they have done during the pandemic, cleaning operatives can surely no longer be considered to be lowskilled.”

Jim Melvin


BCC PUBLISHES INDUSTRY-BACKED GUIDE TO CLEANING AND HYGIENE TERMS The British Cleaning Council (BCC) has published a guide to cleaning terms to help the UK economy reopen safely following the Coronavirus lockdown. Since the pandemic began, the BCC has received many enquiries about cleaning applications, processes and procedures from a variety of organisations that are reopening premises or seeking to design cleaning regimes that will ensure staff, visitors and the public stay safe and well. The BCC consulted member organisations from across the sector in order to compile an agreed guide to ensure informed decisions are made, good standards are reached and people are reassured when it comes to cleaning and hygiene in the current environment. Key advice in the guide includes:

as ‘fogging’, ‘misting’, ‘spraying’, ‘fumigation’ and ‘bug-bombing’ – cleaning to remove the soil is essential before disinfecting to remove the pathogenic microorganisms • when employing a contractor or planning a cleaning and hygiene regime, it is essential that a current, robust risk assessment is designed acknowledging the various environmental factors that may be encountered • when engaging external providers to carry out specialist cleaning/ disinfecting activity it is important to review their credentials in terms of: 1. reputation and credibility

• when cleaning within the health care sector, standard operating procedures should be referenced in conjunction with the latest advice from Public Health England and the World Health Organisation

2. operator training

• a two-stage process is needed when employing methods such

4. result evaluation process – how is the outcome measured?

3. credibility of the product intended for use, preferably that which has undergone efficacy testing and has a unique EN number

RESEARCH REVEALS SCALE OF THE CLEANING AND HYGIENE SECTOR The latest research by the British Cleaning Council (BCC) has revealed that there are approximately 1.63m workers in the cleaning and hygiene industry, making up around five per cent of the UK workforce.


BCC Chairman Paul Thrupp said: “Outside the cleaning and hygiene industry, there is some confusion about what is needed in terms of cleaning and disinfecting to ensure people stay safe and well in light of the risk posed by Coronavirus. “Our guide aims to bust these myths and offer an industry-agreed source of reliable, evidence-based information. “It will help ensure that the high standard of cleaning and hygiene that are crucial for defeating Coronavirus can be achieved and it will help provide the reassurance that people need.” You can see the full guide here or email for an electronic version BRITISH CLEANING COUNCIL


The figures give a true picture of the scale and importance of the sector, showing that it is one of the top ten largest UK industries for employment. Overall, employment in the industry increased five per cent between 2015 and 2018 – a faster rate than in the UK economy as a whole. Cleaning contributed over £54.5bn to the economy in 2018 with overall turnover increasing by 28 per cent since 2013, double the 14 per cent increase in turnover of the whole economy in the same period (ONS 2019). Waste and resources management rose to nearly £14bn

in 2018 and is now over a quarter of the turnover of the whole cleaning industry. BCC Chairman Paul Thrupp said: “The cleaning and hygiene industry has long believed the overall employment figure was much understated by the official statistics for the core cleaning activities. “This report is a valuable contribution to the national conversation about the financial, environmental and social value of cleaning to the nation.” For an electronic copy of the report, please email


BCC ANNOUNCES THE ELECTION OF TWO NEW DIRECTORS Two new directors have been elected to the board of the British Cleaning Council (BCC). Delia Cannings, National Lead for Education & Training, the Association of Healthcare Cleaning Professionals (ahcp), and Kim Phillips, Chair of the Association of Building Cleaning Direct Service Providers (ABCD), both regularly represented their trade associations at the BCC. Delia has over 40 years’ experience with the cleaning sector, with specific expertise gained whilst providing services to the NHS. As well as her position with the ahcp, which is the principal organisation which defines the standards and represents the interests of the healthcare cleaning sector throughout the UK, Delia is the Director of Environmental Excellence Training & Development Ltd, which she set up. She said: “I have reviewed my contribution to the cleaning industry and whilst I believe I have always promoted

our cleaning colleagues, I want to re-focus my efforts and energy on the battle for serious recognition for our cleaning workforces, which will be a key focus of mine as a director with the BCC.” As well as being Chair of the ABCD, which is comprised mainly of local government cleaning managers and a number of suppliers and trainers, Kim is Network Head for the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) and Head of Catering & Facilities Services at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council.

Delia Cannings, National Lead for Education & Training, the Association of Healthcare Cleaning Professionals (ahcp)

She said: “I am delighted to be elected as a director for the BCC. I look forward to bringing diversity and a broader understanding of cleaning matters, along with an excellent track record of task and finish project management, to the strategic work of the BCC. “ BCC Chair Paul Thrupp said: “I warmly congratulate Delia and Kim on their election as directors. They are both highly-talented and experienced people who will add real value and more balance to the BCC board.”

Kim Phillips, Chair of the Association of Building Cleaning Direct Service Providers (ABCD)

BCC WORKS WITH THE DIRECTOR OF LABOUR MARKET ENFORCEMENT The British Cleaning Council has held a virtual meeting with the Director of Labour Market Enforcement (LME), as part of its drive to ensure the voice of the cleaning and hygiene sector is heard at the highest levels. The BCC wants to work with Matthew Taylor to ensure any remote or remaining concerns on modern slavery, pay below the minimum wage and worker exploitation continues to be prevented within the industry.

As a result of the meeting, Mr Taylor has agreed to organise a workshop for the sector.

Mr Taylor and his team and we look forward to working with him in the future to assist in the removal of any of these practices.

BCC Deputy Chairman Jim Melvin said: “Our membership of reputable and responsible businesses has always been concerned about any risk of worker exploitation and the payment of illegally low wages within our industry.

“In the meantime, the BCC would strongly encourage anyone with concerns about worker exploitation in our sector to report it.”

“We continue to promote the undoubted professionalism and high standards within the industry whilst also wanting to prevent workers in the cleaning and hygiene sector being exploited.

For details of how to complain about not being paid the National Minimum Wage, employment agencies, gangmasters or working hours, visit pay-and-work-rights-complaints

“We are pleased to have had the opportunity to discuss the industry with PAGE 7 WWW.BRITISHCLEANINGCOUNCIL.ORG

CHSA LAUNCHES ACCREDITATION SCHEME FOR CHEMICAL MANUFACTURERS The Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) has launched its Accreditation Scheme for the Manufacturers of Cleaning Chemicals.

The members of the scheme as it launches are (in alphabetic order): Bio-Productions, Chemex International, Diversey UK, Eastern Valley Chemicals, Easy Cleaning Solutions, Evans Vanodine International, GoJo Industries, Greyland, Holchem Laboratories, Kitchenmaster NI, Mirius, P&G Professional, Prochem Europe, PVA Hygiene, SC Johnson Professional and Selden Research. All members of the scheme have signed a commitment to maintain the highest standards and trade ethically and have successfully passed an audit.

This move means the CHSA has achieved its strategic ambition of accrediting all members. The combination of the association’s rigorous code of practice and its accreditation schemes guarantees its members trade ethically and work hard to maintain standards in the industry.

This includes a determination on the part of scheme members to support and facilitate the recycling of the plastic containers holding the cleaning chemicals, initially by including the recycling emblem on the packaging. The CHSA’s accreditation schemes mean buyers of cleaning and hygiene products can be sure that ‘what’s on the box is what’s in the box’.

All the existing chemical manufacturing members of the CHSA have passed the scheme audit and are now accredited.


Data gathered by CIEH from accredited universities of environmental health courses across the UK shows that 88 per cent of graduates find employment or further study within six months of leaving university.

“Our focus is always on driving up standards in the industry,” explained Mike Stubbs, Vice President of the CHSA and Chairman of the Accreditation Schemes. “The launch of the Accreditation Scheme for Manufacturers of Cleaning Chemicals is an important step in the achievement in this strategic aim.”




During the COVID-19 pandemic, Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) have held a variety of roles, which were central to the country’s response to the crisis. The varied skillset of this profession is therefore now beginning to be recognised. The Chartered Institute for Environmental Health (CIEH) has launched a new campaign #ChooseEnvironmentalHealth calling for more people to consider this dynamic, varied and vital profession.

Mike Stubbs, Vice President of the CHSA and Chairman of the Accreditation Schemes

Jon Buttolph, Associate Director of Membership and Professional Development at CIEH said: “There have been shortages of qualified environmental health practitioners before the pandemic, but their essential role during the current pandemic has helped to bring the vital skills of these individuals to the fore. “In the time of uncertainty for the future jobs market, it is a great career choice for young people considering their course of study and those thinking about a possible career change, due to the pandemic.”


Zena Lynch, Course Leader and Senior Lecturer in Environmental Health at the University of Birmingham said: “We have seen increased interest in our environmental health courses in the last few years. This is based on an increased awareness of environmental concerns, people wanting to improve population health and well-being and also to be part of the drive towards a more sustainable way of living. “Our profession has high employability and our MSc Environmental Health course has seen a very high number of graduates employed in good environmental health and related roles in recent years.” For more, search for #ChooseEnvironmentalHealth on Twitter

BTA MAKES NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL HEADLINES The British Toilet Association (BTA) made national and international news when Managing Director Raymond Martin was interviewed by over 50 sources from the UK and world news media about all aspects of public toilet provision and cleaning.


FIVE WIN BICSC THUMBS UP AWARDS The award winners are:

It started when he was quoted in an article by The Sunday Times about the future of public conveniences following the Coronavirus pandemic. The article highlighted how the BTA had been continuously giving advice and guidance to councils and companies about keeping public conveniences safe during the pandemic.

The British Toilet Association (BTA) Managing Director, Raymond Martin

Raymond also told the paper that the pandemic could lead to a transformation in future provision, such as the introduction of new measures around urinals and washbasins to enforce social distancing, perhaps leading to many public toilets featuring individual cubicles and being upgraded to nongender specific units. Other measures that might be designed or installed could range from footoperated or electronic flushes, selfclosing seats and integral sanitizing systems. Raymond also told the Sunday Times that publicly accessible toilets had always played a vital role in our nation’s health and well-being, social inclusion, equality, public decency and dignity. The BTA is continuing to encourage the Government to urgently recognise the importance of, and to invest in, public toilets. The story prompted huge interest and public support, with the BTA being quoted extensively in media outlets such as The Daily Mail, The Star, the Scottish Sun and the Mirror and Raymond’s TV appearances including BBC One Breakfast Show, C5’s Jeremy Vine Show and national radio.

After it was unable to hold its annual awards dinner, the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) held the BICSc Thumbs Up Awards to recognise those at the heart of the cleaning industry. It has rewarded five frontline cleaning and hygiene operatives with a bespoke engraved Thumbs Up Trophy, a £250 gift voucher and a ticket to attend next year’s BICSc Annual Awards.

Rebecca Partridge – Aston University

Kylie Inman – Aston University

The winners are shining examples of frontline industry excellence, who have each clearly demonstrated, throughout an exceptionally difficult time, their dedication, commitment and passion. Neil Spencer-Cook, Chief Operating Officer, BICSc, said: “The commitment to the BICSc ethos and raising standards continues to overwhelm us. This year particularly has shown us how what we do as an industry is imperative.

Steven Leeks – OCS

“The qualities of the Thumbs Up award winners and the examples they set for others is nothing short of outstanding. Keep up the good work.” Stan Atkins, Chief Executive Officer, BICSc, said: “The argument over key worker status continues, but there is no doubt that without the cleaning teams, the country would have ground to a halt.

Leon Dole – ISS Facility Services

“Our winners should be proud of their contribution to the greater good and I would like to take this opportunity to thank every one of them for a job well done.” Please visit for full details of the winners.

Norlida Stanton – Nuffield Health



ABOUT THE BCC Established in 1982, the British Cleaning Council (BCC) is the authoritative voice of UK cleaning, a sector worth over £54.5bn a year to the country’s economy and one which employs around 1.63m people, making it one of the UK’s top ten industries. The council’s membership is made up of over 20 trade and membership associations which are all linked to the cleaning and hygiene professions. From contract cleaning to waste management, pest control to housekeeping, training providers to machine manufacturers, chemical suppliers to wheelie-bin washers – the BCC coordinates, campaigns and supports the affairs of the whole of the UK’s cleaning industry. Key priorities for the BCC and its membership include raising professional standards, employee health and well-being, career development and training, improved quality control and better procurement practices. We are also committed to promoting higher levels of cleaning and hygiene across all environments – commercial, domestic and public. BRITISH CLEANING COUNCIL



Find out more: Online at Email Via Twitter @BritishCleaning On Facebook search “British Cleaning Council”