EFCI News – Issue 7 | May 2020
EFCI News – Issue 7 | May 2020
THE CLEANING SECTOR ESSENTIAL IN EUROPE’S REOPENING
Dear EFCI friends,
Cleaning companies are playing and essential role in the containment measures against COVID-19. Our agents have been working tirelessly beside health professionals, ensuring the continuity of the economy during lockdowns, and now play an essential role for Europe’s social and economic reopening. Our essential role has been repeatedly acknowledged by the European Institutions.
After the 15 April Joint European Roadmap towards lifting Covid-19 containment measures, in the Commission’s Guidance on how to safely resume travel and reboot Europe’s tourism of 13 May, cleaning and hygiene have a fundamental role to implement the gradual and safe recovery of activities in both transport and tourism. As essential partners for transport infrastructures and touristic facilities, the cleaning and facility sector is helping its clients to implement the necessary hygiene and sanitisation measures and will be up to the challenges ahead.
Nevertheless, the impact of lockdowns on our companies is still resonating. In some Member States, cleaning companies have lost up to 50% of their activities (and turnover) during the closures. The gradual lifting of the lockdown needs to be encompassed with the economic support measures designed by European Institutions and national governments. In our sector, while the number of companies being unable to continue in business is still uncertain, many will face strong difficulties in resuming business and even more in sustaining additional costs, including those generated by the acquisition of protective equipment and products.
Against this background, the role of social partners and industrial federations has become more relevant than ever. The EFCI continues to liaise with its members and advocating for the recognition of the sector at the EU level, explaining its urgent needs. With the due targeted support measures the sector will undoubtedly not only contribute to ensuring the health and safety of European workplaces, transport hubs and recreational facilities, but will be a strong partner for economic and social recovery.
With our best wishes in this challenging period,
Isabel Yglesias, Director of the EFCI
EFCI MEMBERS’ ACTIVITIES IN THE CONTEXT OF COVID-19
On 22 May FEP launched the Social Media Campaign “utiles à tous” (useful to everybody) as well a dedicated website in order to provide cleaning agents and companies with a long overdue recognition for their key work in ensuring hygiene and safety during the Covid-19 crisis.
On May 6 FEP published a Bluebook “Exiting the COVID-19 crisis” with technical and organizational proposals on how to overcome the crisis from the cleaning sector perspective, as well as adapted protocols facilitating a rapid resumption of activities.
On 5 May FEP launched the online course “Disinfection protocol COVID-19”. On the basis of FEP’s Practical Guide on COVID-19 the training provides cleaning companies with a final certificate to implement surface decontamination and disinfection protocols for the reopening of facilities and infrastructures.
ANIP-Confindustria, with the support of the Italian research centre Cresme, recently estimated that the total surface of public areas to be sanitized in order to ensure a safe reopening would amount to 2 thousand million square meters. In this regard, ANIP continues to be very active in campaigning on social media (#InBuoneMani) and other Italian broadcasting channels (Rai News 24) to underline the strategic role of the sector in enabling the reopening of economic and social activities and calling for targeted support measures to meet these challenges.
On 4 May, the Spanish Social Partners for the cleaning sector sent two letters to the Minister of Health and the Minister of Labour requesting the creation of a flexibility plan adapted to the needs of the sector to ensure a progressive return to the normal levels of activity.
On 18 May, following the Government’s ‘Return to Work Safely’ protocol and in the context of its PR Campaign ICCA published a Press Release calling on public and private buyers to engage with trusted, professional service-providers to ensure compliance with the essential sanitisation and disinfection requirements to safely resume working activities.
On 25 May the ICCA also issued a Statement on its commitment to fair remuneration and working conditions for the contract cleaning sector, as well as the importance of carefully planning the implementation of pay increase proposal to avoid additional lay-offs or the cessation of contracts by clients.