Cleaning up London

Should we care if cleaners are paid fairly?

Ali

We spend billions on coffee and chocolate which can be considered luxuries. We don’t mind paying a little more to make sure that farmers and workers in less developed countries get paid fairly. The Fairtrade brand is hugely successful and is supported by millions of us when we do our shopping.

Paying someone to clean your home is also a luxury because it frees up our valuable time. Few of us give a thought as to whether or not our cleaner is being paid fairly. Some cleaners earn less than £6/hour, far below a fair rate for someone we trust and rely upon. Shouldn’t apply the same Fairtrade principle to trusted professionals working in our homes?

Most cleaning companies and agencies don’t pay cleaners fairly. In a recent article by the Independent, Ms Rojas, a professional cleaner, commented on the negative reaction from her employer when she asked to get her pay increased to the living wage: “My country is called a Third World country but there they treat cleaners better than here’’. She felt that cleaners are not treated fairly in England.

Most people understand that properly paid professionals are better motivated to do a good job. They are happy to pay a fair rate. By hiring home cleaners through agencies, people are not always sure whether their cleaner is paid enough. This is the reason why many households decide to hire professionals directly, even if it makes finding and hiring them more inconvenient.

The cleaning sector needs to improve the welfare of domestic cleaners. Too many cleaners are being exploited. However, there is a silver lining. TidyChoice is an innovative website that strikes a “fair deal” for both home employers and independent cleaning professionals.

TidyChoice is a transparent marketplace where people can browse, choose and book a vetted cleaning professional that is just right for them. Cleaners are well motivated because they are paid their chosen hourly rate in full. The website cuts out agency costs so customers get a market competitive rate and cleaners get paid more as independent professionals. Because they earn more, the website attracts the best independent cleaners.

TidyChoice is a proud supporter of Social Enterprise UK. As co-founder Ana Andres explains:‘’We aim to have a positive social impact, improve communities and give people better chance in life. Far from being exploited, vetted professionals on our website are thriving entrepreneurs.”