Commercial cleaning expansion - HR / H&S and Employment Law. HELP PLZ!

Wez Westwood

Cleantalk Member
Hi all, I'm really hoping I can get some help here :afraid: (it's a long one so bare with me)

I've moved from domestic cleaning / end of tenancy cleaning and also carpet cleaning as now I have been within a commercial cleaning agreement with a primary school for the last 6 months. I would like to redirect my business to focus entirely on school cleaning, starting initially with primary schools and then working towards the larger buildings when the business is capable of that.

The current school that I clean for originally approached me as they had no success with previous cleaners for the past 2/3 years and fortunately for me I had the right attitude and drive to give them what they want... HOWEVER, I am now well aware that I do not have documents in place that I perhaps should have, but I'm really stuck for knowing exactly what I need.

Currently I hold:
- Valid DBS check
- Public liability insurance for £5m
- Employers' liability for £10m

I have written up the most bog-standard (pun-intended) risk assessment that they required, but I'm aware this maybe a little less competent as someone that perhaps has training or previous experience in providing these documents. Also, again, I have a very standard "contract" that I have written for them to basically outline what they expect and what I expect. The trouble is, I don't believe either of these documents are substantial enough to hold any weight if things did ever 'go wrong' or if there were disagreements later down the line.

On my journey to secure the documents and the law abiding route that will path my way to obtaining more schools in the future... I came across a company called CITATION, they claim to offer the all in one package needed to relieve the headaches of all the paperwork and background malarkey, so that you as a business owner can actually focus on the work. They state they will deal with all of the Health & Safety aspects, including risk assessments, staff online training courses, also the HR behind hiring/firing and just general compiling of documents for your staff (when you get them)... not only this but they will draw up the employment law side of things, for example the contract between you as a business and the potential new employee. All of this factored in for a monthly price of £175.00 for a 7-year contract term, BUT, essentially once you start this service you will need to continue with it until your business is no longer trading. Also should anything happen to your business within that 7 years, you are still liable for all of those monthly costs regardless if they are actually doing anything to assist your broken business or not!

^ So that obviously seemed way over priced, a scary duration for a contract, but it did seem like the perfect option to get everything I feel that I need.

What do I ACTUALLY need to start expanding this "school cleaning business", what documents need to be in place.. both for legal reasons or just for my own peace of mind, and also how do I go about getting all of these items without paying a monthly cost to a company that wants you to sign you up for a life-sentence?

Ken Wainwright

Cleantalker Veteran
An excellent source of business support is the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses)

Jamie Biles

Cleantalk Member
Any decent school is likely already have a contract draft in place via their council,does your current school not have this? Go through it and even get a solicitor/law expert go over with you.