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Minimum Wage increases to impact Canadian cleaning industry
In January this year, the minimum wage in Ontario, one of Canada's most populated provinces, jumped from $11.60 per hour to $14.00 per hour, and that rate will increase to $15.00 per hour starting January 2019.
And this is not happening just in Ontario. Some of the other more populated Canadian provinces are experiencing wage increases as well.
According to Paul Goldin, president-elect of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning association, these wage increases are going to have significant impact on smaller businesses and definitely on the Canadian professional cleaning industry.
"Even those contractors that are paying more than minimum wage now, may find they have to pay higher salaries to keep their best employees," says Paul. "Otherwise, they may lose them and then be forced to deal with hiring and training costs."
However, he suggests there are ways Canadian cleaning contractors can address this challenge. These include the following:
* Rewrite client contracts. Long-term contracts must include a clause that monthly service charges may need to be adjusted if the minimum wage goes up.
* Update cleaning methods. Too many facilities are still being cleaned the way they were cleaned 40 years ago. Contractors certified by ISSA’s Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) and CIMS for Green Buildings have been thought “best practices” designed to boost worker productivity and clean more efficiently
* Automate. Manual cleaning methods, for instance, traditional floor mopping, can be automated, significantly speeding up the floor cleaning process
* Cleaning solutions. High-performance cleaning solutions improve cleaning effectiveness and can speed worker productivity
* Go green. Green cleaning solutions have less impact on the health of cleaning workers, reducing absenteeism, improving worker morale and efficiency
* Customer selection. Contractors must evaluate current and future clients as to their profitability. Many times the profit margin on a very large client is so small, contractors may need to decide if it is worth keeping them
* 'Smart' job elimination. Some employees may have to be let go. "If this is necessary, determine which workers contribute the most to business operations. These people invariably will help contractors get the most bang for the paycheck
"These wage increases are going to have significant impact on smaller businesses, and definitely on the Canadian professional cleaning industry," he warns.
12th July 2018