Sodexo has joined an Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) taskforce to share best practice in the cleaning industry.

An EHRC report released today (13 August) has identified that many cleaners in the UK are not treated with the dignity or respect they deserve and among recommendations has suggested the industry adopt employee recognition schemes, such as those used by Sodexo, to improve workplace conditions.

In particular, the report highlighted the positive contribution made by Sodexo’s Service Excellence Awards (pictured) to valuing frontline employees. The annual internal recognition programme includes categories for cleaner of the year, cleaning supervisor of the year and cleaning team of the year.

Sodexo joins union representatives, clients, trade bodies, government organisations and other facilities management companies that will make up the yearlong cleaning taskforce.

To read the report The Invisible Workforce: Employment Practices in the Cleaning Sector, please visit the EHRC website.

Lauren Kyle, cleaning development manager for Sodexo, said: “We welcome the recommendations from the Equality and Human Rights Commission cleaning report and are delighted to be part of the taskforce to promote best practice in the industry.

“Sodexo employs around 9,000 cleaners throughout the UK and Ireland across a range of working environments including the healthcare, corporate, education, and defence sectors. Our success relies upon employees who are engaged, motivated, and effectively trained. While infection prevention and control is essential to patient care in healthcare facilities, high standards of cleaning in all environments can help to promote wellbeing, reduce absenteeism and improve productivity.

“Through various recognition initiatives such as the Service Excellence Awards, and our ‘on the spot’ and ‘star of the month’ appreciation schemes, we encourage our employees to embrace the Sodexo values of team spirit, service spirit and spirit of progress as we know this is the best way to a valued and productive workforce.”

Equality and Human Rights Commissioner, Caroline Waters said: “I am looking forward to working with cleaning firms, Union representatives, clients, trade bodies and government organisations that make up this yearlong taskforce. Together I believe we will identify key actions to improve practices across the sector and ensure that everyone understands their role in ensuring workers are treated with dignity and respect.”

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