COVID:19 – Advice for Cleanersby Janine, Mar 2020
Here at Well Polished, we are dedicated to not only supporting our clients, but also to supporting the self-employed cleaners who are registered with us. As a business, we have gathered as much information as possible that will hopefully help our dedicated team of cleaners to stay safe, keep working if possible and claim the relevant Government support.
If you are still cleaning for clients
As per the Government advice, leaving the house for work (if it cannot be done from home) is permitted. The following information is directly from the official Government website:
‘It is consistent with the chief medical officer’s advice that if you cannot work from home, that you can still travel to work. Equally, this is still permitted if you are not a critical worker.
Anyone who has symptoms or is in a household where someone has symptoms should not go to work and should self-isolate.
The Government is not saying only people doing ‘essential’ work can go to work – anyone who cannot work from home can still go to work.“
As per our previous advice to all cleaners and clients, social distancing during the clean should be adhered to:
- Arrange with your client to keep the recommended social distance (2 metres) between yourself and anyone else in the property
- Try to arrange to do the cleaning when the property is empty if possible
- If there are people there, suggest that those occupants remain in another room while you clean the rest of the property. You could possibly agree to rotate that room on your next visit
We also repeat our previous advice of the switch to cleaning that is designed to effectively reduce the risk of spreading a virus in the home. This means a distinct focus on disinfecting areas such as work surfaces, handrails, door handles, light switches, taps etc. But also less obvious items such as kettle handles, cupboard knobs, laundry baskets and appliance controls etc.
Financial Support Available
Cleaners who have been registered as self-employed for over a year and submitted a tax return for the 2018/2019 tax year will qualify for the recently announced Self-Employed Income Support Scheme so long as the majority of their income has been derived from self-employment. Full details can be found here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme
Cleaners who have other jobs through PAYE and have been laid off by that employer may qualify for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which guarantees 80% of their PAYE income up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. If so, they will be notified by their employer. Full details can be found here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme
Cleaners who do not fall in to either of these categories but have seen their income drop will be able to claim Universal Credit which has now been applied equally to both employed and self-employed workers. Payments under Universal Credit have been increased as a result of the Coronavirus Crisis but the rules are a little complex to explain in this communication. However, full details can be found at https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit
How Well Polished are Trying to Help
We are working hard to keep all aspects of our business operational where possible. Our main aim is to ensure we remain able to offer our 5* services in full when this pandemic is over, and that includes maintaining a client base for all cleaners to return to when possible. We are still available via email and on our text line for all registered cleaners to contact for information or advice, and where we can help, we will always try to.
We are all in this together.