Industry celebrates Thank Your Cleaner Day

"Thank Your Cleaner Day takes on a whole new meaning this year."

The vital role of cleaners during COVID-19 has been recognised and celebrated on Thank Your Cleaner Day.

In New Zealand, and around the globe, cleaners have remained at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19, providing essential services and ensuring the health and safety of workplaces, employees, and customers.

Launched by the BSCNZ,  and in partnership with Kärcher, Thank Your Cleaner Day was held on Wednesday, 21 October, 2020. Now in its sixth year, the day aims to raise the profile of the industry as well as celebrate the role of professional cleaners.

Since its launch, the event has continued to garner global attention from building service contractors and their customers, with the event now celebrated in more than 20 countries.

In 2019, Canada, US, UK, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Colombia were among some of the countries to have participated.

“Thank Your Cleaner Day takes on a whole new meaning this year,” said Sarah McBride, CEO of the Building Service Contractors of New Zealand (BSCNZ).

“Now more than ever we need to thank our essential workers for their hard work and dedication during the COVID-19 crisis. Through this pandemic commercial cleaners are now recognised for the critical role they play in keeping us all safe.

“This day is an opportunity to acknowledge the work the industry has done during COVID and during lockdown on the frontline. COVID-19 has made the cleaning industry more of a visible industry which has enhanced Thank Your Clean Day this year.’

“The industry has always been an unseen and unrecognised workforce,” said Paul Emery, managing director of ToTal Property Services (Canterbury) and president of the BSCNZ board.

“Generally, cleaners come into buildings and offices after hours once everyone has left. But the perception of the industry is changing. There’s a greater appreciation for the industry because when we could, we worked through [lockdown] as an essential service to keep other companies going.

“Without cleaners, you would be surprised by how many workplaces and businesses would grind to a halt, particularly in the currently climate. More now than even recognition of the work the industry does is needed.”

In New Zealand, the commercial cleaning sector is worth more than $1 billion annually and employs more than 30,000 people. Throughout the country’s lockdown cleaners kept some of the most high-risk facilities and occupants safe and have continued to perform essential services work post-lockdown.

“At Karcher New Zealand we are very proud and privileged to be the sponsor of this worthy Thank Your Cleaner Day campaign, said  Kere McBratney, country manager, Kärcher New Zealand.

“The importance of building service contractors has been starkly illustrated worldwide by the impact of COVID-19. Now, more than ever before building service contractors and the wider industry should be recognised for their ongoing efforts and positive impacts on our workplaces and daily lives.”

Building service contractors and their customers hosted events such as morning teas and barbeques. The BSCNZ also released Thank Your Cleaner Day™ gift box for team members for this year’s event.

Developed in conjunction with NZ Cleaning Supplies, BSCNZ produced 1600 gift boxes this year, featuring a range of products from suppliers including NZ Cleaning Supplies, Tork, Makita, Diversey, Pristine Bio Clean, and Filta.

Ian Kebbel, managing director of Supercare and vice president of the BSCNZ council, said Thank Your Cleaner Day is another way to continue to shine a spotlight on the industry.

“For so long the industry has been viewed as a necessary overhead, but we have been undervalued in terms of the contribution we make to workplaces and businesses. However, during the pandemic we were suddenly shot to the forefront.

“[COVID-19] has highlighted the importance of the work we do. People have seen the direct impact of the spread of an infectious disease and the impact not just on staff and absenteeism, but the impact on the entire business.

“Our industry performs more than just the task of cleaning. We provide health and safety services and we will continue to do that after the crisis.

“Thank Your Cleaner Day this year is an opportunity for us to rally together and thank our cleaners. Post-COVID we need to continue to raise support and awareness for the industry and make sure our customers, and the wider public, are reminded of the importance that we have on business and society.”

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