New research from Direct Line for Business reveals that one in three domestic cleaners – approximately 279,000 individuals – have had to sack at least one of their clients during their cleaning career.
The two most common reasons for terminating a relationship with a client are their property being simply too dirty to work with, and tardy payments. One in 12 cleaners (eight per cent) refused to work with a client because of the former, with the same proportion being forced to end their professional relationship with a client due to the latter.
Other common reasons for cleaners dismissing their clients are not being able to access the property (five per cent) and being forced to carry out non-cleaning chores (three per cent). Concerningly, the research revealed that a staggering 36,000 cleaners (four per cent) were forced to sack a client because they felt unsafe in their home.
The analysis also showed that over half of all domestic cleaners (53 per cent) have experienced a cleaning disaster within the past three years. Of these approximately 477,000 individuals, 189,000 (21 per cent) reported having accidentally damaged an item within their client’s property, with an additional nine per cent admitting to having damaged the property itself. One in nine (11 per cent) also reported having lost their tools or business equipment, with the same amount having lost money or had money stolen from them whilst on the job.
Despite accidental property damage affecting so many cleaners, nearly two thirds (58 per cent) claimed to operate without public liability insurance.
Nandita Borkakoti, Business Manager for Tradesperson, Direct Line for Business said: “We know how valued cleaners are by their clients, but working in someone else’s property can come with its pitfalls, some of which are difficult, if not impossible, to foresee and avoid. Knocking over a valuable vase or damaging a piece of sentimental artwork or furniture, for instance, can entail serious financial consequences, no matter how strong the relationship with the client may be.
“Our analysis showed that 72,000 cleaners have at some point had an employment dispute with one of their clients. Though the reasons for these disagreements may vary, we would advise these professionals to get adequate cover in place to avoid having to pay for their own – and sometimes extensive – legal fees and compensation costs.”