In Europe, the cleaning industry is among the most important industries that provide services of cleanliness and hygiene. It satisfies these two important aspects to the society and hence improving health as a whole. In relation to the economic development, cleaning industry in Europe contributes to the economy about 62 billion Euros. This is a tremendous boost to the economy of Europe that the cleaning industry offers. In addition to that, it provides employment of about 3.75 million adults and hence aiding in dealing with the problem of unemployment. According to statistics, the cleaning industry has shown a massive growth in terms of the number of employs and also its contribution to the economy. This has been largely attributed by emergence of cleaning companies due to outsourcing of their services. European employment legislation in cleaning has been put into place to ensure that workers' rights are well adhered to by their employers and also agencies.
These rights of workers in the cleaning industry include proper wages and good working environment in the work place. In order to provide conducive working environment, factors such as health, harassment by the employer and also length of working hours are highly considered. Putting in mind that about 75% of the employs in the cleaning industry are women, and then it is clear that issues like harassments must be fully addressed. The cleaning industry constitutes of many small companies, about 158,000 companies, who in one form an industry hence gaining massive recognition. In that case, just like workers from other industries, employees in the cleaning industry deserve to be treated in a humane way while in their working environment.
One of the most important aspects that should be addressed in accordance with the European employment legislation in the cleaning industry is the minimum wage. Employees in the industry have protested many times in the streets due to poor wages. Having subjected to long working hours and poor pay their grievances are genuine in that light. This has led to the interference of the various organizations and also various laws enacted. The law of minimum wage in Europe as it states, an employer and an employee can come into an agreement on what should be paid on work done but it should not fall below the minimum wage. This is according to the European employment legislation that is set to protect the rights of employees.
The national minimum wage act came into place 1st of April 1999 which quoted minimum wage rates. However these rates keep on changing every year in October. This has led to the cleaning agencies to adhere to this law of minimum wage and hence provide their workers with a better pay in return. Rights of workers should be addressed and enforced fully. In the case of working hours, employees in the cleaning industries should not be over worked. They should be provided with minimum working hours where by some can be employed part time cleaning while others take a break this will also help in the creation of more jobs and hence improve living standards. Other than that, holidays and overtimes should be paid for as stipulated in the act. This will ensure that employees' rights are respected and adopted by the agencies.
Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) laws have shown a great concern to the cleaning industry as it deals with changes in service provision or the transfer of an operation or part of it which retains its identity. This relates well with the cleaning industry in the sense that they are involved in outsourcing of services where they transfer employees from one agency to another and in the process they meet new terms of working conditions and this is where TUPE comes in. they are aimed at ensuring that workers in the service industries where outsourcing is involved get to keep the initial working conditions that they have with their initial agency in terms of working hours, wage rate and other terms of the contract reached with the agency. TUPE also protects the employees in case the business changes ownership. This is possible in the sense that employees and liabilities are transferred to the new employer. This means that employees are protected by TUPE laws as they cannot be sacked due to the emergence of the new owner or employer. In addition to this, terms and conditions of their employment previously set with the previous employer will apply even with the current employer.
Cleaning industry in Europe plays a major role in economic growth and in creation of job opportunities. This means that European employment legislation should focus even more on ensuring that the rights of employees in this industry are protected and enacted fully. TUPE laws enacted in 2006 have seen to it that employees' rights in the cleaning industry are well laid out and hence well practiced by the contractors.
11/21/2012 4:18am

Good article Selen, we have similar labour protection in Australia, but we still get a percentage of contractors who disregard the law and take advantage of the lower educated and new migrants to our country. We refer to these practices as scam or pyramid contracting and as an association are committed to eradicating these practices by educating the facilities industry to look beyond the price offered and to understand whether in fact the contract is sustainable.

I look forward to receiving any material in this are you want to share

Kind Regards,

John

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