In October 2015 the national minimum wage for adults increased to £6.70 an hour and for apprentices to £3.30 an hour.
However, the Living Wage Foundation advises that the living wage for workers outside London should be £8.25 an hour, to meet the basic cost of living and give people the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families.
According to the Office for National Statistics around 8% of people in work are classified as poor. A possible example of this is people working in the cleaning sector, described by the Equality and Human Rights Commission as the invisible workforce because the work of cleaners goes unnoticed and unappreciated.
It is believed that the cleaning sector contributes more than £8 billion to the UK economy and that about half a million people work as cleaners. Most businesses outsource cleaning to save money and reduce costs, and the effect of this has put a constant downward cost pressure on cleaning firms, with a knock-on impact on cleaners’ pay. The cleaning industry employs a higher proportion of female, ethnic minority and older workers compared to the average UK workforce.
Cleaning firms are under pressure to provide a service at the lowest cost possible, and this causes a negative effect on working hours, pay, the intensity of work and training. Nevertheless, cleaning firms have a legal obligation to protect the safety of their employees at work. Everyone is entitled to a workplace where risks to health and safety are properly controlled, and the starting point for considering workplace safety is the risk assessment. The process of carrying out a risk assessment will identify the different types of hazards, evaluate the risks and identify the safety measures to eliminate or control the risks.
The national minimum wage and the protection provided by the workplace safety laws apply to the cleaning industry in just the same way that they apply to other industries.
Roads in England have been described as suffering a pothole epidemic caused by years of under-investment in the roads by successive governments. The Asphalt Industry Alliance carries out an annual survey of the councils in England, who are the local highway authorities responsible for maintaining roads, and each year the highway authorities report large shortfallsMore
In recent years there has been an increase in the number of men and women cycling on Britain’s busy and crowded roads, and unfortunately, road accident statistics published by the Department for Transport have shown an increase in the number of cyclists who have been seriously injured in road accidents. Cyclists are a vulnerable type ofMore
All employees have the right to a safe and healthy job and this includes temporary workers and agency workers. New workers are at a higher risk of suffering an accident or illness at work because they are not familiar with the workplace and systems of work. A hazard that is obvious to an experienced workerMore
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