Aug 6, 2023

Advocating for Cleaners' Rights: Addressing HR Challenges in Cleaning Services

Cleaning company owners have a lot to manage at any given time, from a distributed workforce and hiring good workers to uncontrollable external factors that impact the business. Here are some of the most common HR challenges.

Small cleaning companies often do not have a dedicated human resources (HR) department. As a result, it is up to the business owner to handle hiring, manage employees, monitor regulations, etc., on top of maintaining a high level of service. Lack of an HR team creates many challenges for business owners in the cleaning sector.

Understand the rights of their staff

Due to reports of underpayment, lack of sick or holiday pay, lack of a process to issue a complaint or fear of filing a complaint, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a campaign in 2015 to improve workplace rights of cleaning operatives in Great Britain. A detailed briefing pack for cleaning services outlines employment rights for cleaning operatives.

Employees are entitled to:

  • A written statement of terms and conditions of employment
  • Be paid at least the national minimum wage
  • A wage statement or payslip
  • Paid holidays
  • Statutory or contractual sick pay when off sick
  • Not work more than 48 hours a week
  • Have rest breaks
  • Return to work after maternity, paternity, parental or adoption leave
  • Paid time off work for ante-natal visits
  • Safe and healthy working conditions
  • Complain about poor treatment without being victimised
  • Choose to join a trade union
  • Be accompanied by a trade union representative or colleague at a grievance or disciplinary hearing.

Keep up with regulations and policies

There are many risks to employees, and they can vary based on the job (for example, commercial cleaning and office cleaning present different risks than home cleaning). 

Risk assessments can help companies understand what they need to do to comply. The health and safety of their cleaning staff is a top priority, from risks of slipping and falling, handling hazardous material and sustaining injuries or soreness due to labour-intensive work. It is challenging for cleaners to keep up with health and safety regulations, but it's crucial for the safety of their staff. 

Hire the right people & reduce turnover

Cleaning companies put a lot of trust in their employees. They are in other people's homes and offices every day. Owners must be confident their staff will act appropriately, treat clients and their property with care, and follow appropriate guidelines and laws. Managers and owners are not always on the job with their cleaning staff, so they need to be confident in every hire. 

On top of that, turnover in the cleaning industry is high. Therefore, replacing and training staff constantly is expensive, on top of labour costs and other hard costs. 

A positive and supportive work environment can help mitigate high turnover. Take the time to train your staff correctly and create a motivating work environment. The proper foundation will positively influence their results and thus their commitment to you and your clients.

A talent marketplace saves a lot of steps in the hiring process by vetting applicants before they apply for jobs. Talent in the Moonworkers directory, for example, complete a rigorous screening process to save managers time. Instead, they can focus on fit or chat with references to staff up quickly.

Train new employees

It's a huge step to hire employees, but it's another huge step to train and manage them. The faster staff is trained, the faster they can pick up jobs for you, which is crucial given the turnover rate. Owners must ensure each staff member meets their standards and won't take shortcuts and produce sloppy work when they aren't around, especially if the business offers a trial period or discount for the first cleaning.

But, training involves more than meeting cleaning standards. It starts with onboarding. The staff must complete paperwork, read the employee handbook, review health and safety policy, watch training videos and review checklists, meet team members and learn how to use equipment if necessary. A thorough, repeatable process for onboarding new hires will save managers time. Software like Moonworkers can automate many of these steps and seamlessly bring new hires up to speed faster. 

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Schedule staff rotations and monitor staff attendance

Managing the timesheets of a few or hundreds of staff members can get complicated very quickly. Spreadsheets or manual time-keeping is error-prone, especially when factoring in allotted hours, vacation, or sick days. It can take a long time to create schedules manually, causing frustration and confusion.

Automation is a must for organising shifts. Moonworkers has a rota planner that helps you create timesheets without the chaos. Managers can add, edit, and publish changes, notifying all impacted parties at once. 

Plus, managers can monitor attendance easily through the software. Employees clock in and out in the app from their site to track their time worked compared to the schedule. Transparency of hours worked benefits everyone and reduces confusion regarding payroll.

Manage paperwork, payroll and taxes

Small business owners often have highly specialised trade skills, so their cleaning service needs to be best-in-class to ensure customer satisfaction and encourage referrals. Understanding the paperwork and tax process can be challenging, especially for newer business owners. Which types of forms are needed? How are contractors processed each year? How are taxes managed? Have they worked the full schedule? How much should they be paid?

The right software can automate all paperwork and payroll for cleaning companies. All forms and payments for any full-time, contractor or freelance worker are managed in the software, so owners no longer waste time figuring it out themselves and avoid costly payroll mistakes. 

Moonworkers manages P-forms and hiring documentation, and integrates the rota planner with payroll all in one place. A centralised, automated system streamlines the process for everyone and reduces painful errors.

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We have been using Moonworkers for quite some time and compared to other software in the market, we found it very simple to use and excellent. Moreover, the customer service is great.
Shabir D.

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