conceptual sign with words minimum wage increase ahead over blue sky

Contributed by Avmor.

In January of 2018, the minimum wage in Ontario, one of Canadas most populated provinces, jumped from $11.60 per hour to $14.00 per hour, and that rate will increase to $15.00 per hour starting January 2019.

This is not just happening in Ontario. Some of the other more populated Canadian provinces are experiencing wage increases, as well.

According to Paul Goldin, president-elect of ISSA, these wage increases are going to have significant impact on smaller businesses and definitely on the Canadian professional cleaning industry.

"Even those contractors that are paying more than minimum wage now, may find they have to pay higher salaries to keep their best employees," says Goldin. "Otherwise, they may lose them and [then] be forced to deal with hiring and training costs."

However, Goldin suggests there are ways Canadian cleaning contractors can address this challenge. These include the following:
Rewrite contracts. Long-term contracts must include a clause that monthly service charges may need to be adjusted if the minimum wage goes up.

Update cleaning methods. Too many facilities are still being cleaned the way they were cleaned 40 years ago. Contractors certified by ISSA’s Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) and CIMS for Green Buildings have been thought “best practices” designed to boost worker productivity and clean more efficiently

Automate. Manual cleaning methods, for instance, traditional floor mopping, can be automated, significantly speeding up the floor cleaning process

Cleaning solutions. High-performance cleaning solutions improve cleaning effectiveness and can speed worker productivity

Go green. Green cleaning solutions have less impact on the health of cleaning workers, reducing absenteeism, improving worker morale and efficiency

Customer selection. Contractors must evaluate current and future clients as to their profitability. Many times the profit margin on a very large client is so small, contractors may need to decide if it is worth keeping them
"Smart" job elimination. Some employees may have to be let go. If this is necessary, determine which workers contribute the most to business operations. These people invariably will help contractors get the most bang for the paycheck.