In other posts on our site, we have discussed some of the problems that can arise when a cleaning contractor outsources cleaning responsibilities to subcontractors. These problems run the gamut from poor workmanship and ineffective cleaning to liability issues should they damage your facility or, worse, someone gets hurt due to their work.
However, because these cleaning contractors may offer an enticing bid, it can be hard to resist signing up with them. If you are in such a situation, here are some things you should be aware of and steps you can take before you sign up:
Ask if the Contractor Hires Subcontractors
Some cleaning contractors that outsource their work to subcontractors keep this information under wraps. They feel it’s their business and not the business of the customer. But it is your business. They are cleaning your facility. You should know who is in your building late at night. This is why some requests for proposals (RFPs) now ask, “do you hire subcontractors?” You have a right to know.
Who is the Point of Contact?
One of the issues that can materialize in these contractor/subcontractor relationships is that the customer may not be sure whom to contact when issues come up. Is it the cleaning contractor? The subcontractor? Make sure you know, and if it is the subcontractor, make sure they know as well. Sometimes, they are left in the dark.
Subcontractor Liability Issues
Every RFP will require cleaning contractors to provide “proof of insurance.” However, this may not apply to subcontractors. If you are going to work with a cleaning contractor that hires subcontractors, make sure you have proof of insurance from the subcontractors as well. Don’t ever let this be information you need after someone is injured in your facility due to their work.
Are Subcontractors Paid Fairly?
You know how much the cleaning contractor is charging you. But, do you know if the subcontractors are being paid fair wages? Again, this is something you need to know. In 2015, a California department store hired a contract cleaning company to clean several of its stores. The cleaning contractor subcontracted the work to a network of local janitorial subcontractors. The subcontractors brought a class action suit against the cleaning contractor and the department store, claiming they were not paid sufficient funds to meet state and federal taxes as well as pay workers the minimum wage. The case finally went to the California Supreme Court. The court ordered the contractor and the department store to pay the subcontractors $2.3 million. The court sided with the subcontractors who claimed the store “knew or should have known” that payments to the subcontractors was insufficient.
Janitorial Franchises Can Be Hard to Fire
Especially when hiring a franchise cleaning service, which primarily works with subcontractors, carefully read the fine print regarding termination of service. In many cases, it can be tough to fire a franchise cleaning service. They may require so many “second chances” to get things right, you’re stuck with them. Read the fine print. Make sure it states that you can fire them by giving proper notice and for any reason.
The Secure Clean blog is designed to help building managers keep their facilities cleaner, healthier, and safer, in the most cost effective way possible. To learn more about us, please take a few minutes to explore our website at www.securecleanbsi.com, contact us here or at 888-609-1410.