Feedback from across the network remains positive, and is testament to the Betterclean management team working hard to stay one step ahead of the changes, ensuring franchise owners have never been put on the back foot. Being transparent with clients about the 7.5% wage increase from £6.70 to £7.20 has meant franchisee margins have been safeguarded - with the net position largely neutral in terms of costs.
Network feedback on the issue has also proved another point – namely that Betterclean have been miles ahead of the competition in communicating with clients to keep them up to speed on the living wage changes. So much so, that one large national brand operating outside Betterclean’s existing service territories is now working with us to draw up best practice living wage guidelines for other cleaning firms.
Betterclean Services has been so well positioned on the introduction of the new living wage, that the company had already started paying above the threshold before the proposals came into force – in an effort to encourage high standards and encourage long-term loyalty in the workforce. Evidence from franchise owners suggests this has been a strong and wise decision to make going forward.
Furthermore, other real world benefits of the living wage increase – foreseen over a year ago by Betterclean central management – have also showed signs of bearing fruit for those well-positioned, ethical employers who have refined their operational processes.
In particular, the network is seeing added potential from companies seeking to outsource commercial cleaning work, as they look to control their ongoing statutory costs related to employment. This has meant franchise owners have simply and seamlessly redirected employees onto new contracts to meet demand.
It has also been noted that better wages have been bringing better quality staff – which dovetails neatly with the fact that clients seeking better value for money from commercial cleaning firms will realise the best return on investment from solution providers such as Betterclean, who possess a finely tuned operational system and a workforce of well-motivated, loyal and well-paid people.