Buying cleaning services
Find general advice on buying cleaning services.
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Following this guidance can help school staff to effectively buy cleaning services.
- Planning phase
- Specifying requirements
- Selecting a supplier
- Other considerations
- Further information
It is recommended that planning begins at least six months before a current cleaning contract expires.
If schools are happy with the performance of their current supplier but want to change services or service levels, renegotiation of the existing contract should be considered.
If schools have an existing contract with a supplier and want to test the market again, then the following should be taken into consideration.
- When the current contract is expiring and any cost for early termination.
- Any notice period required by the supplier.
- Any improvements in service that are wanted from the new contract.
If schools currently have in-house staff providing cleaning services who will be impacted by the outsourcing, obligations to vulnerable workers under Part 6A of the Employment Relations Act must be kept in mind.
Clearly specifying cleaning requirements will ensure that suppliers fully understand the level of service needed. They can then accurately price services.
Schools may rely on the details that were included in a previous cleaning contract. If doing so, the changes wanted from a new contract should be noted.
See below a list of inclusions for a specification of cleaning requirements.
A list of all areas that are to be cleaned.
Using a map may help to clarify the location of specific buildings. Find your site map through the Helios Property Portal.
Eight specialist classrooms, including:
Definitions of the frequencies that will be referred to.
Fortnightly means once every two weeks, in addition to the daily and weekly scheduled services.
A list of scheduled cleaning activities by area. For each location, state your cleaning requirements.
In corridors, stairs, lifts and entrances:
A list of any ad-hoc cleaning requirements.
These will be priced separately.
A school-wide deep clean in response to, for example, a national health crisis (such as COVID-19).
Confirmation of the hours at which cleaners will have access to the property and any security arrangements.
Cleaning staff will have access to the school between 3:15pm and 6pm.
Upon completing cleaning in a building, the cleaning staff must ensure that:
A list of any non-cleaning requirements.
Cleaning staff must pass NZ Police vetting.
Cleaning staff must report any observed property damage to the school’s Property Manager on the day that it is sighted.
Cleaning staff are to be paid the living wage for working in the school.
Confirmation of when your school would like the contract to begin and for how long it will last.
Cleaning services will begin on February 1, 2021.
The contract term is four years (+1 year based on the supplier’s performance). The contract expires on January 31, 2026 (if quality assurances are met and the extension is applied).
Use the below template to assist with preparing a specification of requirements.
Using one of the two syndicated cleaning contracts may be a suitable for medium to large schools with extensive cleaning needs. Learn more about the syndicated contracts through the link below.
Running a competitive buying process
If not joining syndicated cleaning contract, schools should run a competitive buying process.
When requesting quotes, it is good practice to specify the contract form that will be used.
The Government Model Contract (Form 2 for services) template is appropriate for use when purchasing cleaning services.
If using a supplier’s standard contract form, schools should review the contract form to ensure that the contract terms are fair and balanced. Use the below guidance to understand key contract terms to look for.
Under Part 6A of the Employment Relations Act, cleaning staff are protected as vulnerable workers.
If a school stops employing cleaning staff in-house and begins a contract with an external supplier, the newly contracted cleaning supplier must offer employment to the cleaning staff previously employed in-house.
When a school changes contracted cleaning supplier, the new supplier must offer employment to the previous supplier’s cleaning staff who worked in the school.
Combining in-house with contracted services
Schools can retain cleaning staff or a caretaker employed in-house when signing a contract with an external cleaning supplier.
This results in a mixed model between internally sourced and externally sourced cleaning.
If this arrangement is used, it must be clearly defined and communicated to both the in-house staff and the external supplier. Both must know what their roles and responsibilities are. This is to ensure that no dispute will occur in the future.
Paying staff the living wage
Cleaning staff employed in-house by schools must be paid the living wage, as is stated in their collective agreement.
Contracted cleaning services suppliers are not mandated to pay their staff the living wage. When requesting quotes, schools can specify that the contracted supplier pays the living wage to their staff providing services to the school.
Schools can ask for their contracted supplier to provide them with performance reports on a monthly basis.
These reports help schools to track:
- the number of cleaning staff working on site and hours worked
- completion status of scheduled cleaning tasks and any tasks missed
- any staff health and safety concerns (including reported incidents and near misses).
Using sustainable cleaning products
Cleaning products vary in the extent to which they have a negative impact on the environment.
Schools might choose to specify a preference for the use of sustainable cleaning products.
Sustainability may also be a factor that a school considers when evaluating a cleaning supplier’s offer.
Using cleaning consumables provided through another contract
Cleaning consumables, such as chemicals, are usually provided by the contractor and the cost is included in their pricing.
Schools can however choose to buy the cleaning consumables through the AoG office supplies contract if preferred.
If the school and cleaning supplier agree to this arrangement, the supplier would need to be registered as an agent of the school under the AoG office supplies contract in order to buy the consumables on behalf of the school.
This can be done by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and the provider of the goods available through the AoG office supplies contract. In this email, schools should clearly state the name of the cleaning provider and that they are to be allowed to buy cleaning products on the school’s behalf.
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