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Pandemic showed us how cleaners play a key role and deserve to be paid properly

Mary McCarthy


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Hospital cleaners have a right to be recognised and appreciated. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA

Hospital cleaners have a right to be recognised and appreciated. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA

Hospital cleaners have a right to be recognised and appreciated. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA

Cleaners in the workplace and domestic workers play a crucial role, but we treat them as if they’re not important. Contract cleaners are not paid enough and many domestic workers work on an informal basis, part of the gruelling gig economy.

Through the pandemic, contract cleaners kept hospitals, care homes, healthcare facilities, retail, education and public transport clean. They got a recent rise but remain poorly paid.


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