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Cleaning Company Assessment

In 2020 the UK Government identified service staff such as cleaning services as the areas of highest risk for modern slavery. Business & Human Rights Resource Centre assessed the modern slavery reporting by the 10 suppliers which have received the most public contracts for cleaning services (by value) from 2012-2020, worth approximately £2.1 billion.

About the dataset

The public sector has awarded ten companies the highest total value of contracts for cleaning services for the time period 2012-2020 in the amount of approximately £2.5 billion*. The cleaning services were provided to a variety of public sector entities including ministerial departments, NHS hospitals, universities, and local councils and police. Contract length varies considerably, from 2 to 10 years and value ranges from £10,000 to over £100 million.

Assessment

The most recent statement for each company was collected for the assessment. Statements were collected as of 18 February 2021.

Amey, Aramark, Atalian Servest, Lewis & Graves and Sodexo did not meet any of the eight indicators.

Most of the companies do not identify vulnerable workers in their own operations, focussing instead on supply chains. The companies failed to disclose meaningful information on the steps being taken to prevent labour rights abuse, particularly of vulnerable workers.

More generally, when discussing modern slavery, the disclosure on due diligence lacked detail with companies stating they had systems in place to identify and assess risk without then disclosing what the risks are or where in the operations or supply chains. The companies disclose in their statements that they provide a wide range of services in several sectors and have operations in the UK and abroad. Yet no company described the risks particular to each of the sectors in which they operate, the risks related to their diverse workforces, or risks related to regions from which they sourced. This is similar to our findings from previous analysis of modern slavery statements.


* Data on contract awards was collected by Tussell using contracts finder and Tenders Electronic Daily up to July 10th 2020. Cleaning was either the sole service contracted, or formed some element of these contracts, along with additional services such as catering, portering, and security.

** These companies were strategic suppliers to the UK Government - suppliers that receive at least £100million in public contracts a year.

*** We note there is a discrepancy between the date on the statement published by Lewis & Graves, and the financial year included in the statement.