research-report-96-coming-clean-contractual-and-procurement-practices.doc

Such practices had the effect of widening the job

Info icon This preview shows pages 142–144. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
organisational team-working, shared training and integrated recognition schemes. Such practices had the effect of widening the job definition of a cleaner to expand the sense of service provision beyond the narrow fulfilment of a cleaning task. Better integration of subcontracted cleaners requires action at the levels of policy and management practice to consider the integration of cleaning tasks in the client’s service provision, strengthen the visibility of the work, raise awareness and respect for the workforce and to reap the potential benefits for customers from enjoying a better coordinated provision of services. Our evidence supports three key suggestions: 1. Encourage clients to integrate outsourced cleaning workers into human resource practices in the areas of non-pay benefit packages, employee recognition schemes and training. 2. Consider widening the scope of cleaners’ job definition in order to integrate tasks with other closely related activities undertaken at the client site. Better recruitment and security? The practice of repeat subcontracting for outsourced services undermines job security among subcontracted workers. Conventional analyses of employment relations assume employees trade off subordination to the authority of the employer for provision of job security and integration within the organisation (Supiot 2001). However, in contract cleaning, employees often work for one client only which, if their employer loses just that one contract, increases the risk of job loss, transfer to another and not necessarily convenient location by their current employer or transfer to a new employer if subject to TUPE transfer. Repeat subcontracting introduces a set of destabilising pressures, as clients may seek to pass on their financial pressures to their contractors, and introduce new performance targets in the outsourcing contract or changes to length or cost-revenue margins of contracts (Figure 17.5). Because contract instability is an ever-present threat, subcontracted workers always face the looming prospect of a change of employer or location if the contract changes hands. There is, nevertheless, evidence in some cases of repeated renewal of contracts for the cleaning company, suggesting that some clients appear to prefer retention of a given cleaning company, with potential benefits for workforce stability. However, the institutional, industrial relations and economic context matters. Public sector austerity conditions affected our hospital and local authority cases and 128
Image of page 142

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICY AND PRACTICE generated a great deal of pressure on the cleaning companies to reduce costs and cut the workforce, despite otherwise positive deals for pay. Indeed, regardless of the contract term, all six cases witnessed the impact of respecification of contracts, the leveraging up of performance targets and alterations in a client’s cleaning requirements, all of which generate new pressures for cost-cutting and restructuring.
Image of page 143
Image of page 144
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern