HC Deb 15 June 1971 vol 819 c61W
Mrs. Lena Jeger

asked the Minister for the Civil Service to what extent the cleaning of Government offices is carried out by contract firms, rather than by direct employment of cleaners; what steps are taken to ensure that the conditions of work and rates of pay of the cleaners are satisfactory; and what change in expense to public funds arises from switching from direct employment to contract cleaning.

Mr. David Howell

In October, 1970, the latest date for which figures are available, 21½ million sq. ft. of Government Offices were being cleaned by directly employed cleaners and 42 million sq. ft. by contract cleaners.

Every cleaning contract includes a clause requiring the contractor to observe the Fair Wages Resolution approved by the House of Commons on 14th October, 1946, the first paragraph of which states: The contractor shall pay rates of wages and observe hours and conditions of labour not less favourable than those established for the trade or industry in the district where the work is carried out … A change is made from direct to contract cleaning only when it is more economical to do so.

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