04 March 2020 | Martin Read
The British Cleaning Council (BCC) is asking government to revisit its new immigration rules, claiming that current proposals will see the availability of cleaning staff in 2021 severely curtailed.
Council chairman Paul Thrupp said the government's proposals as they currently stand would cause a severe shortage of staff in some sectors and areas and in particular the cleaning and tourism industries in and around London.
The council cites figures from The Labour Force Survey April-June 2019, which show that 62 per cent of the cleaning industry workforce active in London was born overseas, with the average figure for foreign-born workers in the industry as a whole at 23 per cent. About 45 per cent of cleaning and housekeeping managers and supervisors were also born overseas.
"Our new figures show that the proportion of lower-paid, lower-skilled migrant workers in these two areas [cleaning and tourism] is much higher than the average across the sectors as a whole," said Thrupp.
"It will be really difficult to replace all these workers from UK-based citizens. The result will be that standards of cleanliness will plunge across London in workplaces, shops, public buildings and tourist attractions.
"This could have a detrimental impact on the huge national effort for high hygiene standards needed in this day and age, and none more so than now in response to the current coronavirus outbreak.
"We demand that the government design immigration controls that allow in the essential overseas workers the cleaning sector needs."