Delegates at a training session being run by Christine Rose


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    « Is banning staff from having a ‘visible’ tattoo discrimination? | Main | Would you readily employ a disabled person or someone with a health condition? »

    Are your cleaners an invisible part of your workforce?

    Research and guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission stresses the need to improve working conditions for cleaners, raise awareness of employment rights and establish more responsible procurement practices. How does your practice shape up?

    Research by the EHRC has revealed that many cleaners feel that their employer and the public do not treat them with the dignity and respect everyone should expect. The cleaning workforce is largely made up of women, migrant and older workers.  While the Commission found many examples of good practice, a significant number of cleaners spoke of being ‘invisible’ - the ‘lowest of the low’, being spoken to rudely and treated badly compared to other employees.

    Equality and Human Rights Commissioner, Caroline Waters said:

    “Fairness, dignity and respect are values we all share. Yet the Commission uncovered some disturbing evidence of the absence of these in the treatment of many cleaning workers by supervisors, clients and the public. Cleaners are largely invisible, despite the cleaning workforce numbering nearly half a million people.

    “Our evidence showed that, while many workers are treated well, enjoy their job and have their rights upheld, a significant number do not.  Cleaners do physically hard work and often take great pride in their jobs, but many felt that they were not appreciated or afforded the dignity and respect shown to others in the workplace.”

    The research captured examples of good practice as well as issues that organisations should urgently address

    You can download the summary report here


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