How Could Brexit Impact the Cleaning Industry?

Posted on 28th January 2019 by Direct Cleaning Services

The UK is home to over 9000 cleaning companies, comprising an industry with a market value of approximately £7 billion. Approximately 25% of all workers within Britain’s cleaning industry don’t have British nationality — a significantly higher amount than the 18% of non-British workers across all UK industries. This stat highlights how much the cleaning industry currently relies on migrant workers. Thus, the uncertainty of Brexit, and the policies surrounding issues such as immigration, are teetering the industry in a precarious position. Today, we’re going to take a look into how Brexit may affect the cleaning industry.

 

Free Movement

The end to free movement between EU member states was a driving force behind the Leave campaign. Now, though the future of the UK’s relationship with the EU remains wholly unclear, it seems that the end of free movement will be a certainty in any Brexit scenario, though if May does manage to pass a Brexit deal through the Commons, a transition period in which freedom of movement continues will be implemented for two years before phasing out.

So, what does the end to freedom of movement mean to the cleaning industry? As noted before, a significant portion of workers in the cleaning industry are migrants. The cessation of freedom of movement will greatly reduce the number of low-skilled workers coming to the UK.

Whether or not this will lead to less labour is debatable. Staunch Brexiteers argue that the migrant reduction will increase positions available for the British workers. Remainers will argue that not enough of the British public can fill these roles, leading to a lack of labour and a detrimental impact on the economy, which is currently bolstered significantly by migrant workers.

 

Devaluation Of The Pound

The day after the Brexit result was announced, the price of the British Pound plummeted to a 31 year low. Since then, it has fluctuated expectedly but still remains at a lower point than it was the day before the Brexit result.

Will it continue to drop? It’s hard to predict, but many economists forecast that the pound will drop further in the event of a hard Brexit or even a Brexit following from May’s deal.

The devaluation of the pound would likely affect the cleaning industry in the same way it will affect most industries: the price of imports will be more expensive. This is especially true in the event of a hard Brexit, in which Britain would revert back from the EU’s trade rules to the rules of the World Trade Organisation. This would result in the EU setting external tariffs on international imports, thus making it more difficult and expensive for cleaning companies to source the necessary cleaning equipment they need to operate their business. The extra weight of added costs may reflect back in price hikes, meaning Brexit may result in cleaning services, along with services in many other industries, becoming more expensive for the customer.

Here at Direct Cleaning Services, we follow the fluctuating news closely and ensure contingency plans are in place whatever the outcome so that all our customers receive the very best service at fair, affordable prices. To learn more, give our friendly team a call today.