April 30, 2018 by Sean Parry
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE HOURLY RATE FOR CLEANERS IN LONDON?
The short answer for the London market is generally anywhere from £10 to £20 per hour. This is obviously a huge range and really depends on where you find your the cleaner – 1) directly finding them through a directory for example, 2) through an agency or 3) through a company.
Below we highlight the pros and cons for each.
1) INDEPENDENT SELF-EMPLOYED CLEANERS (£10-12/HR). Typically, these cleaners work for themselves and often find clients through referral, directory websites, newspaper classifieds or shop windows.
✓ Usually the cheapest option as they are working on their own. There are no overheads associated with running a company – office staff, general admin costs, recruitment etc.
✓ If you’ve found the cleaner through a friends or family recommendation, then this is usually a great option. They will have vetted their quality and reliability for you – 2 key areas.
x Usually independent cleaners don’t have insurance as it’s an extra cost burden to bear. And usually your home insurance won’t cover you in the event of property or contents damage including lost keys.
x What happens if they’re unable to work or away on holiday? Will they send someone else? Have they been vetted etc? OR are you happy to wait until they get back?
x You need to run background checks. Few people realise this but if you work with an independent cleaner, then you are legally required to run a Right-to-Work background check on them. Various ID documents are required to be scanned and checked for authenticity.
2) CLEANING AGENCIES WITH SELF-EMPLOYED CLEANERS (£12-20/HR): The vast majority of London cleaners will work with agencies. These include mobile app companies that have recently entered the industry. All agencies work with self-employed cleaners and they work as intermediaries, taking a cut of the fee in lieu of services provided – usually finding work for cleaners, and providing vetting services for clients. Pricing can vary quite significantly depending on the specific services provided.
✓ The cleaner vetting process often provides peace of mind for the client. The degree of vetting performed varies widely between agencies and this is also usually reflected in pricing. Vetting can include some or all of the following: interviews; background checks; reference checks etc.
✓ All cleaners will be have had a Right-to-Work background check. There are further optional background checks that can be performed such ID Checks and DBS Criminal Record Checks. These all incur a cost per screening and agencies may run some or all of these.
✓ A cover cleaner can usually be arranged in the event of cleaner absence. Other services that are usually provides including finding the client alternative cleaners in the event of absence / holiday or if they simply want to change. For clients working with independent cleaners, the process of finding someone else if usually much more time intensive.
✓ Payments or ease of making payments is usually another benefit of using an agency. Usually independent cleaners still ask for cash payment and this inevitably leads to hassle remembering to pick up the right money for the cleaner or forgetting to do so. With agencies, payments are increasingly being automated with online bank payment and receipts generated for better tracking.
x These additional benefits usually mean paying more for a cleaner through an agency rather than finding one yourself in a directory or shop window for example.
x Quality of work can vary quite considerably. Legally agencies aren’t able to offer any training for the cleaners in their platform. In place of this, client feedback usually forms an important part in determining the quality of the cleaners on the platform.
x If you find a good reliable cleaner who you like and is rarely away or on leave, you’ll may wonder if it’s worth paying extra for the agency services.
3) CLEANING COMPANIES WITH EMPLOYED CLEANING STAFF (£20-30/HR). Relatively rare to come across in central London given the higher cost. The important distinction is that cleaning staff are employed by the company which means this higher cost is generally reflected in much higher pricing. Cleaners are usually trained and uniformed, and you’ll occasionally see them in branded vehicles.
✓ Cleaning companies will usually provide many of the vetting processes of an agency including an interview process and background checks.
✓ Cleaners that are employed can be trained so this allows new staff to potentially perform services at a higher standard. Legally, agencies are not able to train the self-employed workers on their platform.
✓ Companies will usually provide all cleaning products and equipment as part of their service. And as a result they usually drive from client to client in branded vehicles to transport this.
✓ Employees have access to benefits such as holiday and sick pay that some clients may like. However, you’ll often see that their base pay per hour is much lower than an agency to account for the additional cost.
x The high cost of having employees can add up to 50% additional cost for the company and this is reflected in the much higher end price paid by the client.
WHAT ABOUT US? We position ourselves as a high-quality agency and generally take on less than 1% of all cleaning applicants. All our cleaners are self-employed, which means they’re not trained but we have a very high required standard that our cleaners must maintain to continue to be offered jobs on our platform. As well as client feedback, we also track various internal metrics as well relating to professionalism and reliability. Our £2m insurance cover is also extremely comprehensive. As a result, our prices are higher than average and we might not be a fit for everyone. For further information about our services, go to services & pricing >>