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Julius Rutherfoord - specialist contract cleaners for London


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Security in Cleaning

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Companies like Julius Rutherfoord must take responsibility for the security and safety of their staff. As well as the security threat of employing workers without proper security vetting, there is also the risk of their exploitation, blackmail and even enslavement by corrupt company owners.

There have been disturbing examples of managers who know that their foreign staff are working illegally, and take advantage of that fact – such as the case of managers at an NHS cleaning company that were arrested on suspicion of blackmailing foreign staff.

Another shocking case saw 97 people arrested in a crackdown on modern day slavery of illegal workers in nail bars.

We all have responsibilities to ensure that facilities being cleaned and cleaning operatives themselves stay safe and secure. Cleaning operatives often access facilities out of normal working hours, and cleaning contractors must have effective vetting procedures in place to safeguard the security of a site and the cleaning team, whilst guaranteeing a high level of service.

The cleaning industry has a reputation for a high staff turnover, and while our progressive attitude to our workforce is improving staff retention and safety, we want to see levels of security vetting improved across the professional cleaning industry.

  • According to UK Home Office data, an estimated 500,000 to 900,000 people work illegally in Britain, many in the capital.
  • There are hundreds of thousands of fraudulent identity documents in circulation in the UK, yet few contractors are able to spot them.
  • During the initial security vetting of staff Julius Rutherfoord inherits, the company often rejects between 20% and 40% due to forged or out-of-date IDs.
  • Fake documents should not pass if rigorous security vetting procedures are in place.

Julius Rutherfoord has published a new best practice white paper – Security in Cleaning – together with an accompanying infographic to highlight the challenges of ensuring the safety and security of facilities being cleaned and the operatives cleaning them.

We hope that this information will prove beneficial in the fight to improve working conditions for cleaning operatives and to boost the safety and security of the cleaning and facilities management industry as a whole.


Julius Rutherfoord