The British Cleaning Council has said it is ‘appalled and upset’ after Sue Gray’s report into parties at Number Ten revealed that there were ‘multiple examples of a lack of respect and poor treatment of security and cleaning staff’.
Jim Melvin, Chairman of the BCC, which is the voice of the cleaning, hygiene and waste sector, said: “At a time when many cleaning and hygiene operational staff were putting themselves at risk to maintain high standards of hygiene and ensure that key workers and the public were safe and well during the pandemic, it is absolutely appalling and upsetting to hear that they were being treated with such contempt by people who sit within Government or the civil service and who frankly should know better.
“Cleaning staff are hardworking, professional and deserve to be respected in their vital work, just like anyone one else, and certainly how the people concerned would expect to be treated.
“In some parts of the cleaning industry, the demand for increased standards of hygiene during the pandemic has combined with severe staff shortages to drive many colleagues close to breaking point.
“The Prime Minister himself thanked cleaning staff in Parliament and now we are subjected to the contents of Sue Gray’s report. Which one are we to believe?
“What cleaning staff need is support and recognition from the Government, not to be treated with such arrogance or disrespect.
“In that respect, we wish to engage with the Government and actually see what the claim that steps have been taken really means in detail. We will be formally requesting a meeting to have such engagement and discussion.”
On behalf of the BCC, Jim Melvin has written to the Cabinet Secretary, Simon Case, to formally ask for a meeting to review in detail both the allegations and the steps that have been taken since.