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EFCI News – Issue 13 | January 2021


EFCI News - Issue 13


Dear colleagues,

It is with great pleasure that on behalf of the EFCI I wish you all a happy and healthy 2021.  

The year has started with the evident challenges linked to the fight against the pandemic and our reflections on the economic and social recovery from its consequences, on which we are convinced our sector has a very relevant role to play.

Through 2020, we have been impressed by the enormous efforts and achievements that our members have deployed to assist cleaning companies since the beginning of the crisis. While our companies continue providing essential services through all sectors of the economy, the role and unity of associations has become as relevant as ever. In this regard I want to extend my sincere gratitude to all our members, stakeholders and partners for their strong and fruitful cooperation during 2020.

The European policy agenda ahead is also not short of challenges, among others, the Commission’s proposal for a Directive on adequate minimum wages, as well as developments linked to the digital and green transitions that the Covid-19 crisis has accelerated. The EFCI will continue working to convey the sector’s views and needs on the very relevant policy priorities of the European Commission, including the Pact for Skills and the developments regarding public procurement, such as the forthcoming Buying Social Guide.

With these objectives in mind, we will continue working on our SK-Clean project on digitalisation and training as well as supporting cleaning associations and companies to equip the sector with the newly required skills and expertise to be up to the challenges and seize the opportunities of this transformational moment. We will shortly be releasing EFCI’s engagements to accompany the sector in contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals and continue working to develop a Circular Economy Guide for the industry.

We are convinced that, through strong cooperation, we will be able to turn the many challenges of 2021 into opportunities for the development of the sector in the coming years and for its contribution to Europe’s recovery.

I also take this occasion to invite you to the reading of EFCI’s 2018-2020 Activity Report that we have just released.

With kind regards from Brussels,

Isabel Yglesias

EFCI’s Executive Director


We are happy to present our 2018-2020 Activity Report, which looks back at the intense work program implemented in the last two years to develop and implement EFCI’s renovated strategy. Taking as a starting point the celebration of EFCI’s 30th anniversary, the report highlights the visibility and recognition that the sector has gained through a strengthened internal collaboration as well as the support and constructive relationships with all stakeholders, as key as ever to navigate this challenging times.

Despite the very hard circumstances of 2020, the last two years brought great achievements for the EFCI. Since 2018 the EFCI has further developed into a vibrant network of engaged associations and a recognised voice for the cleaning and facility services sector at EU level.

The report summarises the main results of EFCI’s work in social affairs or public procurement and provides an overview of the tools developed to communicate them to the industry and at to the European Institutions.

We want to thank EFCI’s Members but also EFCI’s partners and stakeholders for their support and cooperation through this intense period.

We wish you a great reading of EFCI’s Activity Report 2018-2020


The EFCI together with other Social Partner organisations representing the services sector in Europe (WEC Europe, Insurance Europe, EBF, Coiffure EU, CoESS, EuroCommerce, ETNO and UNI Europa) published on 27 January a joint statement on how to tackle common challenges and further strengthen sectoral social dialogue given its importance for developing both quality services and jobs.

The statement underlines social dialogue’s instrumental role to collectively engage with the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis on the services sectors and find a common path for the recovery. Further, it stresses how sectoral Social Partners are uniquely qualified to guide policymakers in drafting and implementing legislation in a way that truly reflects the needs of each sector.

With the aim to discuss common challenges and further develop services’ Social Partners and social dialogue’s key role, the documents call on the European Commission to:

i) facilitate regular exchanges across the services sectors on common issues e.g. through the creation of a regular forum of exchange for services’ Social Partners;

ii) systematically involve services’ Social Partners in monitoring the implementation of sector-specific legislation and policy;

iii) enable capacity-building activities by making further dedicated funding available to social partners and make funding opportunities for social dialogue support more transparent;

iv) substantially increase the visibility given to joint outcomes of sectoral social dialogue as well as promoting and facilitating social dialogue in those countries where it is underdeveloped;

vi) respect the autonomy of social dialogue and establish a clear process at European level for sectoral agreements.

The Statement intends to be a first step towards the capacity-building activities that the Commission wishes to foster and calls on the latter to directly support and engage with services’ Social Partners who are committed to advance in such exercise.

Read the full statement here.


The 26 January Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee meeting for Industrial Cleaning offered the occasion for an open exchange between unions and employers’ representatives on the main upcoming initiatives at EU level and the most pressing issues with regard to national developments on the impact of the COVID-19 as well as for the adoption of the Social Partners’ joint Work Programme for 2021-2022.

The meeting was opened by the Commission’s presentations on the latest updates on the new European Pact for Skills, the forthcoming Buying Social Guide on SRPP as well as the proposal on adequate minimum wages. Participants from both Social Partner organizations took the opportunity to reflect on the Commission initiatives and express their views and concerns.  On health and safety, Sandrine Razieghi National Diversity Project Manager at the Fédération des Entreprises de Propreté (FEP – EFCI’s French Member) presented FEP’s self-assessment tool to measure cleaning companies’ performance on equal opportunities. This provided for an interesting exchange on risk of gender-based discrimination as well as cleaning companies’ legal obligations and best practices on prevention of sexism and sexual harassment.

The EFCI and UNI Europa presented and adopted their joint Work Programme for the period 2021-2022 that focuses on: the challenges and opportunities linked to the impact of Covid-19 crisis, promoting training and skills, digitalisation and greening of the economy, public procurement, undeclared work, TUPE, as well as the joint efforts to develop capacity building and strengthen effective cooperation among employers and trade unions organisations.  

Finally, Jelena Milos – Project Officer at UNI Europa presented an update on the RETAIN project and its first findings. The project, led by UNI Europa, focuses on identifying the factors challenging staff retention in the industrial cleaning sector. Notably, the EFCI is a member of the project’s advisory board.




On 25 January 2021 Almega Städföretagen, together with their union partners Fastighetsanställdas Förbund and Kommunalarbetareförbundet decided to grant the 2020 Cleaning Company of the Year Award to all Sweden’s cleaning agents. The prize is normally awarded to a cleaning company that in various ways has distinguished itself as a great role model in the sector. This year the jury has instead decided to grant this recognition, under the name of Cleaner of the Year 2020, to the exemplary role of all cleaning agents for their outstanding and undefeated efforts to reduce and contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus. To the press release on the Cleaner of the Year 2020.

On 27 January Almega signed two new collective bargaining agreements with the Swedish municipal workers’ union, Kommunal, applying respectively for 32 and 33 months and involving salary increases of 5.4%.To the press release.



ANIP is actively calling the Italian authorities to include cleaning agents working in particularly risky environments in the priority groups for vaccination against COVID-19. ANIP’s President, Lorenzo Mattioli, was  interviewed on 22 January by the Italian TV Channel Rai News 24. As also previously underlined in a Press Release of 18 January, President Mattioli advocated for the cleaning personnel to be granted priority in the vaccination campaigns undergoing in Italy. Especially for cleaning agents active in high-risk environments like healthcare services and nursing homes, he calls for: “a fast vaccination track. A gesture of recognition and concrete protection that cannot be postponed”.



On 16 January the Spanish magazine Limpiezas dedicated an article to Juan Díez de los Ríos’ reflections on “The effects of Covid-19 in professional cleaning”. In the article, ASPEL and EFCI’s President highlights the importance of industrial and employers’ associations to accompany the sector through the pandemic both at the national and EU level. He also stresses how EFCI’s Covid-19 technical meetings were crucial to exchange among EFCI members while underlining the difficulties of coordinating within the Spanish cleaning sector as the management of the pandemic became a regional competence. On the basis of EFCI’s Trend Report, Juan Díez de los Ríos also analyses how the closures impacted the cleaning sectors’ different market segments.



On 13 January BIV launched the podcast series “Glanzstück”. In the first episode, now available on iTunes, the President of the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts, Hans Peter Wollseifer, discusses the impact of the pandemic on the craft sector in Germany, especially on vocational training and calls for structural reforms to overcome the crisis.


The BIV also announced (through a  Press Release of 4 January) the coming into force of the new collective bargaining agreement reached last November with their Social Partner IG BAU. As of 1st January 2021, the sectoral minimum wage will rise to € 11.11 (+2.9%). The collectively agreed wages in the German cleaning sector continue to be significantly higher (+17%) than the statutory minimum wage, which will rise to € 9.50 on January 2021.  Until the end of the term in 2023, trade unions and employers have agreed on collective wage increases of 10.7%, with entry-level wages in the cleaning sector of €12.



On 10 January FEP published its 2021 edition of the Blue Book on cleanliness to enable an even greater contribution of cleaning companies to the health and socio-economic recovery from the pandemic. The book proposes 20 solutions and legislative actions in 5 main areas: i) promoting the sector as a valid career option and foster youth employability and training, ii) strengthening and simplifying social dialogue, iii) maintaining cost reduction measures to preserve the competitiveness of companies, iv)  promoting quality-based tendering and responsible purchasing of cleaning services and v) further enabling the sector’s environmental and social sustainability including through instruments such as FEP’s Référentiel RSE.