Contract Client Overstepping Contract Boundaries - What To Say?

Stephen courtney

Cleantalk Member
Hey everyone,

I have a contract client who despite getting all of the specified contractual cleaning completed is trying to basically manage me and my employee (brother).

We have a 30 hour per week contract which has both myself and brother in for 5 hours on two days per week.

The past month this client is continually trying to split us up, despite the fact that we have been cleaning the same place Monday to Friday for almost a year now.

The excuse he gives is that he may get an inspection and what happens if the inspector goes in a room and it's a mess.

However this is a ridiculous excuse and I have at least 3 scenarios where it would fail what he is getting at.

We are contracted between 9.30 and 1.30 or 2.30 depending on the day.

1) what happens if the inspector comes in at 9am and says what's this on the floor.

2) what happens if me and my brother were in. Split up like he requeste, one upstairs, one downstairs and the inspector goes into a room that either of us havent been in yet and finds it messed up.

3) what happens if the inspector comes in when it's just me or my own and goes in a room with crap on the floor.

All of these situations would cause one of two situations.

He is either going to:

1) say sorry I don't know why that's a mess it's unacceptable I will have to find out why.

2) say I have cleaners who work between 9.30 and 1.30 or 2.00 and they havent got round to it, it will however he done before the children are back from school.

Now I know the answer will be two because obviously it's the right thing to say.

I have a tight contract on top of these three scenarios which clearly states that we work autonomously and not at the direction of the client.

They can give us a list of priorities however that's is the extent of their input unless there is a rare special request which would be taken into consideration.

Other than that the management and placement of staff to perform those duties outlined in the contract are completely up to me the contractor.

Should I call a meeting and tell him because it's starting to really annoy me now.
 

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Stephen courtney

Cleantalk Member
I'm at a point where I feel he is:

1) telling me how to run my business.

2) telling me how to manage my staff.

3) managing my business and staff for me.

Furthermore he is more than happy to have us together when we do something that he really wanted/needed doing.

Plus in the rooms we clean there are heavy things like beds that although are manageable on your own are much easier to move as a team but I wouldn't even like to bring that up.

Would you run through the scenarios above and bring up the contract?
 

Adrian Geyer

Cleantalk Member
This bloke has issues. There's always one picking on the cleaners in contract cleaning!

So Glad I left CC behind many years ago.

Politely point out the terms of contract that you have shown on here, and that you prefer to work with brother.

How hard can it be for an inspector to be told that areas in a mess have not been cleaned yet. :confused:
 

Stephen courtney

Cleantalk Member
Smells like

Client wants to get rid of you.

Makes it impossible to work with the conditions

But wants YOU to quit.

J
Well I do a lot of maintenance too which he absolutely needs me for.

The amount of money I save him in Callout fees alone would put that idea to bed straight away.

Plus I've had an issue before regarding cleaning feces (disabled children's home) and said if he requires cleaners to do that I'd agree to mutually end the contract and he can find a company that will.
 

Stephen courtney

Cleantalk Member
Is it such a big deal if he wants you on a floor each?

It wouldn't bother me, just get your headphones on and get to work.
Where does it end though, if there was a genuine reason for a certain day I have and will accommodate and take his consideration into account.

But I keep my side of the contract and perform all required tasks as set out in the contract.

What he's doing is the equivalent of me going into his office and telling him and the assistant manager to split up and do what I want them to do.
 

Stephen courtney

Cleantalk Member
This bloke has issues. There's always one picking on the cleaners in contract cleaning!

So Glad I left CC behind many years ago.

Politely point out the terms of contract that you have shown on here, and that you prefer to work with brother.

How hard can it be for an inspector to be told that areas in a mess have not been cleaned yet. :confused:
In all the time I have been there there has been one Ofsted inspection and zero criticism of cleanliness.

One time I've called a meeting when he tried to make me clean feces up both off the floor and wall which is not my job.

It's the children's support workers job, I had to tell him that essentially he wanted me to do his staffs work for them.

But again, inspection is a moot point because the only cleaning that gets done is by me.

So if they got an inspection at say 6pm and there were crumbs about from children after school it would basically create the same issue he is trying to say is the problem.
 

Trevor Ives

Cleantalker Veteran
You have to ask yourself whether it is worth doing this job and can you replace it elsewhere.
If it pays well and you wish to continue - politely draw his attention the the contract conditions.
I always found that a helper who knew what he was doing more than halve the time or increased the effectiveness.
If you are not happy look for another contract somewhere.
 

Jamie Biles

Cleantalk Member
May sound silly/obvious but is he the only person been dealing with. Can you go further up the tree etc. Maybe his micro-managing issues that need drawing attention to not your contract. Sometimes another view is all it takes,they may not be aware.
 

Stephen courtney

Cleantalk Member
You have to ask yourself whether it is worth doing this job and can you replace it elsewhere.
If it pays well and you wish to continue - politely draw his attention the the contract conditions.
I always found that a helper who knew what he was doing more than halve the time or increased the effectiveness.
If you are not happy look for another contract somewhere.
To be quite honest this was one of my first contracts do he got a really good deal on price.

The contract is £13 an hour, granted I use their chemicals and everything but still my commercial starting price now is £16 - £18 an hour depending on the work required.

I think the only way he will beat my price now is to actually hire a PAYE employee or two specifically for cleaning but then he is back in a tricky position.

Because actual issues that would get pulled up in an inspection like broken locks, holes in plasterboard walls and things like that wouldn't get fixed.

They can't get builders out to fix remedial things like a hole in the wall because there isn't enough money in it for them.

I'd have no hesitation leaving if he wants to stick to his guns and insist that he gets to choose where he allocates myself and my staff.
 

Stephen courtney

Cleantalk Member
May sound silly/obvious but is he the only person been dealing with. Can you go further up the tree etc. Maybe his micro-managing issues that need drawing attention to not your contract. Sometimes another view is all it takes,they may not be aware.
There is only one person above him but he is the owner of a number of child/adult services residences and doesn't get involved in the day to day running of this place at all.

He does have a micro managing issue though, I'd say he's a bit of a narcassist too.

I know we are only cleaning but I feel him telling me how to manage and where to place myself and staff is just cheeky, bordering on disrespecting the actual role of a cleaner.

For instance they had builders in remodeling a room and I don't think he would ever consider going in there and saying to the tradesmen, you two plasterers split up, one do that wall and one do that wall.

I
 

Stephen courtney

Cleantalk Member
An inspection by whom? Are they within the organisation and completely random or scheduled in HSE audit with warning given?
There is only really Ofsted that comes to inspect but then the cleaning work undertaken by my company wouldn't cause any issues.

I could clean a room and a child could completely trash it 10 minutes after.

It's a mentally disabled children's residence with non verbal children between the ages of 13 and 17.

The only real issue he could face during an inspection which would be a safeguarding issue is feces or urine on the floor which is actually the children's support workers job to deal with.
 

Andrew Evans

Cleantalk Member
I think you should re read Trevor's answer, for me I like being self employed I like the decision making and not having to put up with this kind of stuff.

I know contract cleaning is very competitive but for that rate you should be just doing a simple office clean, bit of vacuuming dusting and emptying waste baskets.

We or certainly I started off doing really great deals for people but over time as business grows you realise perhaps you don't need this type of issue.

If you want to stay then draw their attention to the detail of the contract, if you are not bothered then tell them it is time to increase your prices, then you either let them go or they pay you enough to make you happy with the aggro.

If you feel it is no longer viable, after all whilst you are doing this you are not doing something more profitable, then tell them you are sorry but due to their lack of adherence to the contract we are no longer able to continue.

Either way you are the contractor and only you decide best practice whilst working.

Hope this helps
Andrew
 

Joe Hatton

Cleantalker Veteran
I know we are only cleaning but I feel him telling me how to manage and where to place myself and staff is just cheeky, bordering on disrespecting the actual role of a cleaner.
I
Never say “we are only cleaning”, you are doing a very important job. If no one did cleaning the whole country would grind to a halt. Offices, shops, roads, transport, everything would be stacked with rubbish. No one would be able to move.

Is there no provision for the price to be increased? If not I suggest you will be looking for a way out sometime soon anyway.
However, taking that thought into account, why not go for a price increase and at the same time politely raise that you manage your employee to give the best service. If he values your service you may get control of your employee back and a better rate too.
 
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