The British Cleaning Council has warned that new immigration rules proposed by the Government for next year will cause ‘a severe shortage of staff’ in the cleaning and tourism industries in and around London.
It is highlighting figures from The Labour Force Survey Apr-June 2019 which show that, in London, 62 per cent of the cleaning industry workforce was born overseas. The average figure for foreign-born workers in the industry as a whole is 23 per cent.
The figures also show that 45 per cent of cleaning and housekeeping managers and supervisors were born overseas.
Paul Thrupp, Chairman of the British Cleaning Council, (BCC), said: “The BCC is very concerned that new immigration rules proposed by the Government for next year will cause a severe shortage of staff in some sectors and areas and in particular the cleaning and tourism industries in and around London.
“Our new figures show that the proportion of lower paid, lower skilled migrant workers in these two areas is much higher than the average across the sectors as a whole.
“It will be really difficult to replace all these workers from UK-based citizens. The result will be that standards of cleanliness will plunge across London leaving workplaces, shops, public buildings and tourist attractions dirtier whilst some homeowners will also struggle to recruit domestic cleaners.
“This could have a detrimental impact on the huge national effort for high hygiene standards needed in this day and age, and none more so than now in response to the current Coronavirus outbreak.
“And a shortage of senior housekeeping staff could leave hotels and guesthouses grubbier which, in turn, will discourage tourists from visiting the UK.
“We demand that the Government design immigration controls that allow in the essential overseas workers the cleaning sector needs.”