Make cleaning and hygiene a national priority!

Make cleaning and hygiene a national priority!

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Jason Grimsley started this petition to UK Parliament

The cleaning, hygiene and waste industry calls for the recommendations in the report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Cleaning and Hygiene Industry, entitled Embedding Effective Hygiene for a Resilient UK, to be implemented in full by the Government.

The report’s recommendations, if implemented, would put cleaning and hygiene at the heart of the national agenda, making the nation much more resilient to current common infections and also much better prepared for future public health emergencies, like the Covid-19 pandemic.

The British Cleaning Council and 22 associations from across the cleaning, hygiene and waste sector back these recommendations.

With flu regularly reappearing and the constant threat of a new Covid variant, we are seeking to embed measures that will protect people’s health and save lives.

There many reasons why MPs and the Government should collectively want to ensure that the nation does everything in its power to learn the lessons of the Covid-19 pandemic and reflect a new national culture around cleaning and hygiene for the future, in order that we significantly reduce the possibility of revisiting the tragic events of the last few years and causing more lives to be lost.

For clarity, cleaning and hygiene operatives have a very skilled, vital, frontline role, keeping others safe, well and healthy. The cleaning and hygiene sector is one of the ten biggest industries in the UK, so it is essential that our voice is heard and it will be.

The APPG inquiry, which was chaired by Nigel Mills MP, looked at what lessons could be learned with regards to the actions and direction given in relation to cleaning and hygiene during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The inquiry took evidence from industry body the British Cleaning Council, the Royal Society for Public Health and a number of experts, cleaning and hygiene clients, and senior colleagues across the whole of the industry. This credible document deserves to be taken extremely seriously.

In summary, the recommendations were:

• A joint Government-industry preparedness team should be established to draw up a plan for cleaning and hygiene requirements 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 and their availability ensured

• Government and the cleaning product supply industry should investigate how to increase production capacity in any pandemic

• It should be agreed that in any future pandemic, Key Frontline Worker status must be bestowed upon commercial cleaning and hygiene operatives working in defined key venues and also personnel in the cleaning products production and supply sectors

• Urgent consideration must be given to making cleaning staff eligible for the Skilled Worker Visa scheme

• A defined set of high-level minimum standards for hand and other hygiene infrastructure and of the depth and frequency of cleaning of diverse venues should be agreed between Government/regulators and the cleaning and building management industry

• 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 to be adequate

• Government communications about hygienic practice and behaviour in times of pandemic or other emergency to be clear, consistent, sustained, timely, relevant and specific

• A Government-led communications campaign 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 support the cleaning and hygiene industry to promote a realignment in perceptions of the industry.

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