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UK Covid-19 Inquiry and relevance to the future of cleaning

The UK Covid-19 Inquiry has been set up to examine the UK's response to and impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and learn lessons for the future.

The British Cleaning Council  and 21 industry associations have been urging the government to adopt the recommendations in the Embedding Effective Hygiene for a Resilient UK report since last year. 

Summary Of Recommendations 

Preparedness Issues 

  • A joint Government-industry preparedness team should be established to define how cleaning and hygiene requirements will be resourced and implemented in time of emergency. 

  • Based upon the plan, minimum levels of the cleaning materials and equipment most commonly called upon in emergencies should be defined by both sectoral user and supplier, and their on-call availability ensured. 

  •  It should be agreed that in the event of any future pandemic, Key Frontline Worker status must be bestowed upon commercial cleaning and hygiene operatives working in defined key venues

Resilience issues 

  • A defined set of high-level minimum standards for the provision of hand- and other hygiene infrastructure and of the depth and frequency of cleaning should be agreed in collaboration between Government/regulators and the cleaning and building-management industries.

  • A standard qualification for cleaning should be developed within the Apprenticeship Levy, to improve the quantity, quality and career prospects of people entering the cleaning industry.

  • Training budgets for cleaning staff within both public and private enterprises should be adequate to keep the workforce updated with the skills and techniques.

  • Government-led communication campaigns based on behavioural science techniques should be deployed to widen and deepen public understanding of hygiene and establish a norm of adopting hygienic behaviour as part of everyday life. 

  • The Government should actively endorse and support the cleaning and hygiene industry in communicating widely to promote a realignment in societal perceptions of the cleaning and hygiene industry.

The Government have as yet not committed to any of these recommendations.


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