|AspenClean team members pose for a family photograph...|
Recently several companies have been in the news for class action suits filed alleging abuse of employees and violations of labour laws. In the interest of transparency, AspenClean competes directly with at least one company facing lawsuits and labour law violations, and we regularly compete with other companies that use contractors instead of registered employees. That being said, we thought it would be worthwhile to take a look at this issue and how it has become an increasingly common problem in the United States and here in Canada.
The Growing ProblemImagine you are a young, fresh eyed high school or college graduate, looking for a career. You go out into the world looking for work and find the job market is a bit different than the one your parents faced. Many employers want you to work for an unpaid internship without the guarantee of employment, others want you to work part time and the full time positions you do find are so competitive you probably have to know somebody to get the job. Even if you do, starting wages are lower than ever when you adjust for inflation and it's difficult to pay the bills, let alone pay off student loans or a car loan. In the three most expensive markets in Canada, paying the bills is very difficult.
On the employer side, it's not any easier. Small employers face increasing competition from other start-ups and large corporations undercutting the market. Web services like Groupon help companies get noticed, but they also undercut the market further, forcing companies to offer lower and lower prices to stay competitive. The result is customers who expect lower prices and employers with unreliable and unsustainable profit margins. Many companies, big and small, pass on the strain to the employee. The result is a labour force that is increasingly unreliable, under-trained and most importantly, uninterested in advancement.
|The race to stay competitive is never ending...|
This situation presents an ethics question and a larger concern about the value we place on work in service industries. From an employee's perspective, it creates a lack of training and breeds an environment of carelessness. But how does this practice of contractors effect you, the customer?
See another cleaning service make the case for full time, properly paid employees.
The Poor ResultsIf you are in the market for a home cleaning service like we offer at AspenClean, you will find a lot of options if you're in Vancouver, Calgary or Toronto. Some will start as low as $50 for a cleaning, with other services costing much more. But what are you actually getting for that service? To quote an old adage, nothing is really free and if you find yourself saving money on a low cost service, chances are a corner was cut somewhere.
The AspenClean DifferenceBy contrast, AspenClean employees are full time employees with various benefits anniversary and quarterly bonuses, assistance with commuting to work, Yoga classes, parties, and extra bonuses paid out for 'wowing clients.' They are hired carefully for their personalities, interests and skill sets and are fully insured in case of accidents that could occur on the job. They also go through 1-2 weeks of training to focus their cleaning in the places that matter most to our clients. AspenClean employees are equipped with non-toxic chemicals that they do not pay for and even vehicle and fuel costs are covered along with travel time. AspenClean vehicles are equipped with GPS to make sure employees always arrive on time and jobs are scheduled with windows for travel time to make sure employees can safely travel from location to location.
|AspenClean team members, owners and families volunteer to clean up a beach...|
Our employees are a part of our family, and they feel important and valued, which in turn makes them more reliable and better at what they do. It's important to note that AspenClean is a premium service. Our prices are higher than some of our competitors, but we are also less expensive than other services and offer a reliable, green and detailed service with discounts for regular cleanings. Comparatively, our clients know AspenClean will deliver and they feel safe trusting us in their homes every week.
Interested in joining the AspenClean team? Apply here.
The Choice We MakeAspenClean has been committed to livable wages and opportunities for our employees since we began offering service in Vancouver in 2004. That does mean that our services are a little bit higher than some low cost alternatives, but the value of AspenClean's service and the results remain self-evident. If you are looking for home cleaning service that is reliable, ethical and offers a level of detail the competition does not, book your next cleaning with us.
|AspenClean team members participate in Yoga Exercises...|