Sector special: ‘Fair tax accreditation helps us lead and influence the cleaning sector for good’

In this new series for the Fair Tax Foundation, our accredited organisations tell us how the Fair Tax Mark has helped open opportunities or overcome challenges specific to their sector. First up is the UK cleaning sector, where Clean For Good Managing Director Charlie Walker discusses the benefits of tax transparency in a sector often known for poor working conditions.

The UK cleaning industry employs 1.47 million people and in 2019 contributed £58.9bn to the country’s economy, according to the British Cleaning Council, and yet the sector is plagued by increasing staff shortages (thought to be as high as 40%, compared with 20% in other sectors), high turnover and low retention rates.  

The Fair Tax Mark is one way businesses in the sector can hope to attract and retain employees, given that this year the vast majority (70%) of the UK public said they would ‘rather work for a business that can prove that it’s paying its fair share of tax’. Sentiment was stronger among women (73%), who incidentally make up a slightly greater proportion of the UK’s cleaning workforce, at 56%.   

One cleaning company that sees the value responsible tax conduct can have for their staff is Clean For Good (CFG), a professional cleaning company for all workspaces, based in London. They employ more than 75 cleaners and were the first cleaning company in the UK to become Fair Tax accredited. 

“In a sector where low pay and poor working conditions are widespread, we have a mission to provide fair pay and restore dignity to our cleaning staff, while at the same time provide an excellent service to our clients,” said Charlie Walker, CFG Managing Director. 

“We are passionate about the way we do business, not just the financial outcomes our businesses generate.” 

CFG was set up in 2017 with a vision to be a different kind of cleaning company. 

Most cleaning businesses are small, with nine out of 10 employing fewer than 10 people. At present, the vast majority of small companies in the UK choose to publish filleted and / or abridged accounts at Companies House. In effect the only financial information disclosed is a scaled down balance sheet account – there is no information on income, profit or taxes paid. This is not just entirely legal, but within the spirit of the law.   

CFG are proud to say what they pay in tax and want every part of their business model to be an exemplar of responsible business.  

“The fair tax accreditation was an opportunity to demonstrate that we take the question of how we run the business, seriously,” Walker continued.  

“Since CFG started trading we will have paid nearly £25,000 in corporation tax by the end of 2024, and we stand delighted at the impact that will have had on our public services, and the growing ripple effect of CFG.” 

In a sector where transparency is a key challenge, Walker concluded: “The fair tax accreditation helps us to lead and influence the cleaning sector for good. And that really is what we are all about!”



Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest Fair Tax Foundation news and analysis, direct to your inbox every month