When you’re looking for a potential contract cleaning vendor, a flashy website, shiny business cards and suave salesman won’t cut it. It’s worth your while to do some digging, in order to make sure that you’re dealing with a legitimate contract cleaning service, and not a fraudulent operation.

Many people take contract cleaning short cuts when researching a potential service provider, and the majority of the time, everything goes to plan. Unfortunately, dealing with a cowboy cleaning service comes with severe ramifications that can leave your business and staff in dire straits.

In no particular order, here are the five crucial questions that should be asked of your contract cleaners before you hire them:

  1. Do you follow health and safety best practice?

Unfortunately, accidents happen, and in the case of a commercial outfit that employs a sizeable staff, the ramifications can be drastic. It’s therefore crucial that before you sign a contract with your cleaning company of choice, you establish who is liable for what.

It’s your responsibility to ensure that your contract cleaning service provider has provided their staff with the necessary training, and that their equipment is in working order and that they follow health and safety best practice.This must be established prior to their rendering of services. It’s imperative that you sign a health and safety document that details the responsibility of both parties, in order to avoid any costly confusion in the event of an accident.

  1. Do you abide by the following contract cleaning industry laws?

There are numerous legal requirements that contract cleaning services are required to adhere to – and for good reason. The following prerequisites are all in place to ensure that the contract cleaning services is a legitimate operation that abides by industry laws.

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Before employing a cleaning service, insist that they produce documents that pertain to the following:

COID – Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases

UIF – Unemployment Insurance Fund

PAYE – Pay as You Earn income tax

SDL – Skills Development Levy

Tax clearance certificate – this is only valid for 12 months, so check whether your potential contract cleaning service have a valid one in place.

(You can find out more about these on the Department of Labour’s website)

In addition, any company you’re considering doing business with should provide their employees with an EPF – Employment Provident Fund as well as pay them annual bonuses.

These last two requirements might seem superfluous, but they’re incredibly telling as to whether your contract cleaning service provider operates by the book or not. If a company doesn’t pay a provident fund, they might be able to offer you discounted services, albeit at the cost of breaking the law. In the same vein, if a company doesn’t pay its staff bonuses, they would be able to offer you a further discount, with their staff losing out as a result.

Unscrupulous contract cleaning providers often undercut those who follow the law to a T. The risk? If the company is audited by the Department of Labour, you’ll be liable. In short – using a ‘cowboy’ contract cleaning provider is not worth the risk.

3. Do you have a NCCA certificate of compliance?

While the NCCA (National Contract Cleaners Association) is not a legal body, they have a mandate to act on behalf of all contract cleaning companies to handle their wage negotiations. The NCCA will audit a contract cleaning company, and if they pass the set of stringent requirements, they’ll issue the cleaning company with a certificate of compliance. This means that the contract cleaning business if a legal entity; that their skills are up-to-date; and that their staff all have contracts of employment.

  1. What is covered in your Service Level Agreement? (SLA)

Failing to establish what is and what isn’t included in an SLA is a mistake that trips up many a business. In order to ensure that your contract cleaning provider knows exactly what you need, it’s essential that you stipulate every single task that you require. Vague instructions such as “Keep my premises clean” won’t cut it, as this leaves room for a whole lot of miscommunication. It’s your responsibility to explicitly explain: what has to be done, and how often.

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In order to ensure both you and your cleaning company are on the same page, you’ll need to break this down into the fine details. For example:

Boardroom:

Vacuum carpets 1 x day.

Clean windows 1 x month

Sanitise all surfaces 1 X day

Empty all rubbish bins 1 X day

In short, it’s crucial that you do your homework before asking your contract cleaners for a quote. It all comes down to the small print, as everything not mentioned in the SLA will be excluded.

  1. Are you able to provide me with three references of current clients?

When evaluating a service provider, many people ask for references. What they neglect to do however, is to stipulate that these must be references from current clients. This will ensure that the feedback you get is up to date, as many vendors often get away with providing the contact details of past clients that they know were happy with their work. Unfortunately, this isn’t always indicative of their current standard of service, which is why it’s important to obtain references from clients that they currently render services to.

The Specialists adhere to all of the above. If you’re looking for contract cleaning services that are professionally run, give us a call today to find out how we can help you to meet your commercial cleaning needs.


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