Rules to mop up black market cleaners

VAT incentives suggested as way to encourage start-ups

Despite having a reputation for cash-in-hand jobs, domestic cleaning is steadily gaining recognition as a legitimate entrepreneurial opportunity, new research claims.

The report from cleaning franchise Molly Maid reveals the domestic cleaning services sector has grown by a 91% over the last three years.

It found that one in seven homes now employ some sort of cleaning help due to a larger active workforce and greater levels of disposable income.

But while 95% of the nation’s cleaners are currently working cash in hand without insurance, the sector is improving its reputation as a good way to start-up a legitimate business.

Comprehensive health and safety legislation expected to be introduced, the report said, will give shape to the industry with better regulation.

Molly Maid said the government can offer incentives for people to start their own registered firm, which would present cleaning as a more acceptable and rewarding career for people looking to be their own boss.

“The domestic cleaning services market in the UK is expanding rapidly,” said Pam Bader OBE, chief executive of Molly Maid UK. “At the same time it’s a polarised market with professional, registered companies offering their services at one end, and one man/woman bands operating in the black market at the other.

“We’re hoping the government will consider waving VAT for professional domestic cleaning companies, as is the case in France and Luxembourg, to make it a more level playing field.”

Bader claimed if more domestic cleaners are encouraged to start up, homeowners would view the industry more favourably.


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