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EFCI News – Issue 11 | October 2020


EFCI News - Issue 11


On 28 October, the European Commission presented its proposal for an EU Directive on minimum wages. The EFCI, representing a sector strongly engaged with Social Dialogue at national and European levels and committed to the continuous improvement of the working conditions of our employees,  can already reiterate some of the points raised in its replies to the Commission’s consultations to Social Partners this relevant matter:

  • The proposed Directive is opening the door for political interference in wage-setting mechanisms and goes beyond the limits of Union action established in article 153 (5) TFEU;
  • We regret that not enough attention has been put in the sectoral impact of the proposal;
  • The Directive pursues shared objectives but is a blunt measure that should have been preceded by (i) a strong focus on capacity building at cross-sectoral and sectoral level, (ii) an increased effort in the fight against undeclared work and (iii) a decided shift from price to quality in public procurement.

The above concerns are shared by the European employer’s community and, in many ways, by European trade unions. The EFCI and its members will actively engage with decision makers at European and national level to ensure that the specific needs and views of the sector are taken into account in the legislative process on this proposal.



In the context of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, EFCI members continue to work to highlight the importance of responsibly purchasing professional cleaning, hygiene and sanitisation services, key to contain the spread of the disease. While the FEP (FR) has launched a television campaign to promote good contracting practices based on best quality price ratio, ANIP (IT) continues his advocacy to value professionality and expertise when purchasing hygiene and sanitisation services, key to guarantee the safety and wellbeing of users in buildings, schools and  public transports among others. Further, BIV (DE) has published a survey on the state of cleaning companies in Germany with a view to equip policymakers and sectoral associations with the appropriate knowledge to design much needed sectoral support measures.



On 26 October, FEP launched a television awareness raising campaign addressed to public and private buyers. The initiative is an integral part of the Project Client Plan ( and aims at promoting responsible purchasing of cleaning services focusing on the quality of the service provided. The campaign spot  will be broadcasted for four weeks on the French news channels BFM TV, LCI et CNews.

On 16 October, the FEP also published the results of a survey on French people’s perception of  hygiene and cleanliness. Among the main outcomes: i) 83% of French public believes they are essential to prevent a new heath crisis; ii) 87% of the working population believes they are determinants to health and safety at work and iii) 96%  want intensified cleaning protocols to be maintained. Find here all the results of this survey.




ANIP-Confindustria (IT):

In light of the first Italian Ministerial Decree to contain the second waive of the pandemic in Italy, ANIP- Confindustria’s President, Lorenzo Mattioli, renewed in a Press Release of October 13 the sector’s concern for the internalisation of cleaning in schools and other public infrastructure. While public authorities did recognise the importance of sanitation operations they are overlooking how the professionality of companies and expertise of cleaning agents performing the services is key to guaranteeing public health






On 19 October BIV published in a Press Release  the results of a survey on the state of the sector since the beginning of the pandemic. Conducted among 400 German cleaning companies, the survey results show that:

      • 26.1% of the companies have had to lay off 1 to 10% of their workforce on average;
      • 64.7% of the companies report a loss of sales;
      • 54.8% state that customers place fewer orders or orders with a lower scope of services;
      • 5.3% decrease in sales in the 2nd quarter of 2020 compared to the 1st quarter and 6.2% compared to the 2nd quarter of 2019 across the German industrial cleaning sector.


On 20 October, the EFCI and its Members took part in the plenary meeting of the Industrial Cleaning Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee. The meeting was an occasion for UNI Europa’s and EFCI’s Secretariats and Members to jointly analyse the impact of Covid-19 on the sector and discuss future actions to advocate for the cleaning sector’s needs and essential role during the second wave of the pandemic.

During the crisis, on 22 April, the EFCI and UNI Europa had already issued a Joint Statement calling on European and National authorities to i) recognize cleaning, disinfection and sanitisation as essential and crucial activities; ii) ensure access to the necessary protective equipment to guarantee cleaning agents’ safety and iii) actively support employment in the sector to ensure the business continuity of cleaning companies.

The EFCI was also invited to present the SK-Clean project during the European Commission’s Liaison Forum for Social Dialogue of 12 October. The Liaison Forum is celebrated up to 5 times a year and reunites European Commission’s officials responsible for Social Dialogue as well as representatives of Unions and Employers to exchange on the Commission’s proposals in social affairs and get updates on the projects and achievements on all sectorial social dialogue committees.  During the second half of the meeting of 12 October, focused on digitalisation, the EFCI could explain how the SK-Clean project will analyse training systems in the different Member States and reunite best practices in training on digital and green skills to accompany the sector through a successful digital transformation.


EBSA’s Online Seminar gathered a wide and diverse audience for a fruitful discussion on how EU public procurement regulation is impacting business services and how it needs to evolve to ensure a shift of focus to quality, environmental and high social standards in the award of the contracts. Among the main take-aways, speakers concluded that:

  1. Legislation is there and leaves room for better procurement practices in all Member States. However, further efforts are needed from national, regional and local authorities to bring this to fruition and better promote efficient, fair, and transparent competition between operators.
  2. The professionalisation of procurers needs further development, especially smaller procurers, such as city halls, often struggling to grasp the complexity of the tendering process.
  3. EBSA sectoral associations guides (on cleaning, security, contract catering and engineering consulting procurement), offer concrete and adapted solutions to many issues raised during the webinar and in particular they can offer much needed guidance for public authorities to adopt a sectoral and case-by-case approach when designing tenders.

During the closing remarks, Cristina Freitas da Costa, EBSA’s Board member, underlined how the EBSA will continue working towards high quality public procurement and the professionalization of public and private buyers through many diverse instruments including EBSA members’ guides on quality procurement in different business services sectors.

To EBSA’s Conclusions of the Online Seminar