Cleaners earn more in 10 other European countries than they do in the United Kingdom, according to the latest research. A study from London Cleaning System showed that the average wage of a cleaner is £7.27 an hour, significantly less than the top players across the continent – and even the rest of the world.
Forming an integral part of the service industry here in the UK and a vital cog in the economy, cleaners are largely unsung heroes. And, with one in three families now having a cleaner, how does the job fair in terms of pay and national living wage across the globe?
Brexit, national living wage and freedom of movement:
There are a large number of workers who work in the cleaning industry and a big portion of those are migrants. According to the Office of National Statistics, 669,000 migrants are employed in elementary positions, with 510,000 of those being EU nationals.
EU workers fear the impact of Brexit on jobs and once freedom of movement ends in March 2019 as many as 94% of EU workers currently employed in hotels and restaurants and three-quarters of construction and manufacturing workers will not be allowed under immigration rules. But, is the wage for cleaners enough to have attracted those migrants in the first place? Not according to the research. While the average hourly wage of £7.27 is above the national minimum wage of £6.50, it is still lower than a host of European countries as well as many across the rest of the world – particularly in English speaking countries – although it is significantly more than places like the United Arab Emirates, who’ve been under severe pressure from the international community for the working conditions of their migrant, domestic workers.
Want to work as a cleaner? Luxembourg offers the best terms in Europe.
As the 11th highest in Europe, the UK pays more than £7 more per hour than a cleaner gets in Ukraine showing huge pay disparity, and distinctly more than the vast majority of countries but we are still some way off the biggest payers.
That award goes to Luxembourg, where cleaners earn £13.17 an hour. This is one of just four countries that offer such wages – with Belgium (£11.55), Finland (£11.08) and the Netherlands (£10.57) making up the rest of the top four and the only countries to pay more than £10 an hour for the service.
However, with a minimum wage of £10.31, Luxembourg certainly doesn’t take the award for the largest difference when compared to the national minimum wage.
Poland: where a cleaner can earn 249% more than the minimum wage:
According to the study, the best value for money for being a cleaner comes from Poland. With an average wage of £8.47 and a national minimum wage of just £2.43, that’s a 249% differential for a better standard of living.
With the need for these services growing across the United Kingdom, the Brexit fallout could see us lose more than half a million EU migrants in leading cleaning companies in London and similar positions.