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Federation News

THE NEED FOR SAFETY WHEN WORKING NEAR OVERHEAD POWER CABLES We have received reports from the family of one of FWC’s former members who has suffered a devastating accident as a result of coming close to an overhead power line. Read More about this report through Jason’s Go Funding Charity Every year, tragic incidents underscore the grave risks window cleaners face when working near overhead power lines. In 2021 alone, two lives were lost when water-fed poles inadvertently made contact with live wires, resulting in fatal electrocutions. These sobering events highlight the urgent need for collaborative action to enhance safety protocols in the window cleaning industry. The Federation of Window Cleaners (FWC) has taken a proactive stance by...
                        MANCHESTER CLEANING SHOW BOASTS BIGGEST AND BEST-EVER ATTENDED SHOW TO DATE Professionals attended the show, making it the biggest Manchester Cleaning Show yet. The women’s window cleaning world record was beaten by just 0.15 seconds. Over 40 speakers shared their expert insights into key trends and challenges for 2024. Manchester Cleaning Show celebrated its biggest and best-attended event last week, with a record-breaking 85 exhibitors and 2,558 attendees participating in the two-day event.Attendees descended upon Manchester Central from all over the world, including North America, South Africa, China, UAE and Australia. Over 40 expert speakers including the British Cleaning Council, shared their insights in a range of talks across the two...
                        In Partnership with the Manchester Cleaning Show the FWC will be staging a series of presentations on stand F30under the theme of: “Taking your Window Cleaning business to the next level”. Wednesday 13 March10.00 – Winning more commercial contracts, while cleaning windows safely – IOSH Accredited Training. 10.40 – Getting Paid faster with online payments – Tyl Software. 11.20 – Jet Washing – Streamline Systems 12.30 – High Level Cleaning and the creation of new income streams – SpaceVac International 13.20 – Soft washing for the UK Market – Ionic Systems/British Window Cleaning Academy 14.00 – Window Cleaning Competition – featuring Terry “Turbo” Burrows: the fastest window cleaner in the world > Register your competition place now...
BCC ‘thrilled’ to announce approval for the Cleaning Hygiene Operative Apprenticeship Millions of pounds a year could potentially be invested in training sector staff Proposals for an Apprenticeship Standard for the cleaning and hygiene industry have been approved, potentially paving the way for employers to invest millions of pounds annually in training sector staff. The British Cleaning Council (BCC), which made achieving the Cleaning Hygiene Operative Apprenticeship one of its key priorities, is aiming to support the launch of the Apprenticeship Levy funded programme early in 2024. It will be hosting a series of expert-led AAG (Apprenticeship Advice and Guidance) Zoom information sessions starting in October, where employers can find...
Today is World Day for Safety and Health at Work but one overlooked area might be the ladders that employees use. Ladder Association urges Government to clamp down on online marketplaces Unsafe and potentially dangerous ladders continue to be sold online in the UK, according to a new safety report from the Ladder Association. The latest report is a follow on from the telescopic ladder market surveillance report undertaken by the Ladder Association in 2022, which found that over 80% of commercially-available telescopic ladders tested, failed to meet the minimum safety requirements designed to keep users safe. Worse still, this research found over half of the failed ladders were marked and sold as ‘compliant’ in a deliberate attempt to...
BE AWARE! Don’t leave keys in the van while working. Don’t leave valuables in the vehicle. Protect yourself and your employees.   Consider fitting a steering wheel lock while working or keeping the driver and passenger doors locked while working…it only takes thieves a second to steal an unlocked van with keys in. Opportunist thieves jumped into a window cleaning van while the operative was cleaning windows using a Water-fed pole just yards away – he was only alerted when the water was suddenly disconnected! Fortunately, the operative was not hurt on this particular occasion…but similar incidents have caused harm!   KEEP YOURSELF & STAFF SAFE + VEHICLES SECURE! Assess the Risk on the probability of this incident!
Window Cleaning Company & Employee of the Year 2023 Winners!The Federation would like to thank all members who entered the Window Cleaning Company of the year 2023 Award. This year had a really good response with amazing quality entries, so the final result ended with joint winners. Regrettably not everyone makes it to the final but encouragingly all entries were inspiring. We are delighted to announce the WINNERS from each category - selected by scoring based on: industry achievements, training, time served in the window cleaning industry, customer/ client testimonials, reasons for entering and an overall contribution to the industry. Huge congratulations to the 2023 WINNERS as listed below. WINDOW CLEANING COMPANY OF THE YEAR AWARD...
Latest figures from SP Energy Networks show over 70 serious electrical incidents in e past 12 months SP Energy Networks is urging construction workers to be careful onsite and ‘Plan Ahead, Look Around’ after over 70 serious electrical incidents were reported in the past year. Latest figures from across the area SP Energy Networks operates in show that 74 reports were submitted to its health and safety team relating to accidents on construction sites alone. The number of incidents highlights the risks for workers on sites, with an average of five people tragically dying each year across the UK due to accidental contact with underground or overhead electrical lines. Use of heavy-duty machinery and vehicles mean that construction workers are...
South West Water is appealing to household and business customers in Cornwall to conserve water, as we see reservoir levels in the county continue to be much lower than this time last year….click here
Working Outdoors - Winter Window Cleaning When working outdoors, the weather can have a serious impact on worker’s health if the risks have not been properly managed.Window cleaning in winter means cold hands, freezing hoses, water freezing, and many more hazards to contend with. Read more about Winter Window Cleaning here.
Mental Health - Mind to Mind Campaign - ScotlandSurviving Suicidal thoughts is here to support people who are living with suicidal thoughts, their families, friends, and communities. The Mind to Mind Website features real people talking about their own experiences and offers advice to support them with their challenges. Topics include dealing with anxiety and panic, handling stress, sleeping better, lifting mood, and moving through grief. Further information is also available...
  FWC has been in contact with Southern Water for clarification on the cleaning of windows using WFP during this TUB – Southern Water have confirmed that this Temporary Use Ban affects Domestic customers only.  Therefore, Window Cleaners can continue to clean windows using Waterfed poles.    Exemption – South East Water (Pre-approved exemptions for certain categories of people or uses of water – if one of these applies to you then you can use your hosepipe for this reason)  - Cleaning of walls or Windows, of domestic premises using a hosepipe – where this is done as a service to customers in the course of a business or to clean public service or goods vehicles. One of our region’s driest years for a century and highest ever temperatures have caused...
  New research commissioned by the Ladder Association has raised serious concerns that unsafe and potentially dangerous ladders are being sold to unsuspecting consumers in the UK. The report, produced in partnership with the East of England Trading Standards Association (EETSA) and Suffolk Trading Standards Imports Team, found that over 80% of commercially-available telescopic ladders tested in the study failed to meet the minimum safety requirements designed to keep users safe. Worse still, the research found that over half of the failed ladders were certified and sold as ‘compliant’ to standards such as CE marking, in a deliberate attempt to mislead consumers. The aim of the report is to shine a light on the very real dangers of...
With deepest sadness and concern we report on two recent fatalities as water-fed poles touch live electric cables. There are no second chances with electricity. Your life can be lost within seconds if you come into contact with overhead power lines, Accidental contact with live overhead power lines kills people and causes many serious injuries every year, and the window cleaning industry is no exception.Sadly, we report that the window cleaning industry has had two recent fatalities with water fed poles touching live electric cables whilst working on domestic properties……read more including FWC Risk Assessment guidance.
SHORT LISTED FINALISTS Window Cleaning Company & Employee of the Year Award 2021Also New for 2021 is a “Special recognition Award” We are delighted to announce the shortlisted finalist who have been selected by points scored on: time served in the industry, qualifications gained, training achieved, customer/client testimonies and reasons for entering the competition. New for 2021 in recognition of improved services to the industry is an additional outright “Special recognition Award” THE FINALIST IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER ARE:• Aquamark Cleaning Ltd• Art Cleaning (Midlands) Limited• HCS Cleaning Services Ltd• Phoenix Cleaning Company Ltd• Progress Cleaning Services Ltd • Ryemead Commercial Group Ltd• Specialist Window Cleaning Ltd• Women Window...
The Cleaning Show returns to highlight new cleaning and sanitation practices  17 August 2021: The global pandemic has seen cleanliness and sanitation become a top priority for business owners and consumers alike. Helping showcase the latest advancements in cleaning practices and technologies, The Cleaning Show returns to ExCeL, London from 2-4 November 2021. The show, organised by the British Cleaning Council and Quartz Business Media, is set to attract more than 7,000 senior cleaning professionals from across the contract cleaning, facilities management (FM), healthcare, hospitality, retail, and public services sectors – making it the UK’s largest and most important event in the cleaning and hygiene sector. And, as the first event in the sector...
Be Safety Aware!! HSE reported a fatality resulting from a long water-fed pole touching an overhead power line. check for overhead power cables as part of your daily RAMS before extending a water-fed pole. See more here.   HSE GS6 guidance is available here.
2021 Annual General Meeting - FWC gives notice that the Annual General Meeting will be held on Friday 28th May 2021 at 12:30pm via Zoom. Members interested in joining the AGM please inform the General Secretary by the latest – Wednesday 26th May so that we can send you a login invitation and correspondence. Please contact us on T: 0161 432 8754 or Email: [email protected]. 2020 Balance sheet:A copy of the 2020 Balance Sheet is available from the members area of the website https://www.f-w-c.co.uk/member-login 2021 Nomination & Election Notice: The Committee positions were unopposed for 2021 consequently the Chairman Andrew Lee, and Council Members Scott Smith and David Saville are eligible for reelection at the AGM.   Registered members who feel they...
Easing of COVID-19 Restrictions: Returning to work safely – business considerations   The arrival of spring brings with it the hope of a brighter future. As lockdown restrictions are eased, we will see a host of sectors re-opening including non-essential retail, personal care services and the re-opening of hospitality venues, most outdoor attractions and settings, and indoor leisure facilities. Over the coming weeks and months businesses, some of which have been closed for a significant period of time, will be making plans to re-open safely. Reopening the economy, while continuing to combat coronavirus (COVID-19) creates many challenges, requiring businesses and workers to follow new ways of working guidance on easing of COVID-19...
  BPT Toolkit The Business Partnerships Team has produced a toolkit to help businesses take action and encourage others in their sectors and supply chains to do so as well. You can do this by sharing key messages on social media and any other internal channels you feel are appropriate. You can also share your experiences with us in the form of a case study. The toolkit can be dowloaded here Webinars and videos A collection of webinars for businesses that trade with the EU can be accessed here.  The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has also published a series of short, on-demand videos covering 18 topics, including importing and exporting, rules of origin, audit and accounting. Register now to immediately access the video...
  The new COVID-19 variant is spreading fast, and 1 in 3 people have no symptoms but remain infectious.  We are now beyond the previous April peak of coronavirus case numbers and hospitalisations.  This is placing huge pressure on the NHS capacity and case numbers are still rising. The NHS continues to provide first class care in extremely difficult circumstances. But hospitals across the country are now under severe pressure.  We must act now to slow the explosive growth, protect the NHS and prevent avoidable deaths.  You must stay at home. This means you can only leave home to shop for essentials, to take exercise once a day and only with one other person. Everyone who can work from home must do so.  Only go to work if you cannot work from...
All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Cleaning and Hygiene Industry could be inaugurated early 2021 The British Cleaning Council (BCC) is sponsoring the creation of an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) to represent the cleaning and hygiene sector in the Houses of Parliament. The aim is to give the industry a voice in Parliament, allow it to influence discussions, debate and pose questions and to influence ministers and the Government. …..read more
Information on the new national restrictions, including what they mean for working from home and business closures, why they are being introduced and the financial support available.  See all updates From the Cabinet Office here: COVID-19 case numbers are rising rapidly across the whole of the UK and in other countries.  We must act now to control the spread of the virus. The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home, to protect the NHS and save lives. When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why, from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, the Government is taking the following action: Requiring people to stay at...
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme closes on 31 October and you will need to make any final claims on or before 30 November.The Job Support Scheme opens on 1 November, with claims opening on 8 December. – For more….. Make sure you have the latest information by joining the live COVID-19 support for employers webinar. We’ll provide an overview of:• the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and how to claim• the latest information on the Job Retention Bonus, including how to check if your employees are eligible, when you can claim and what you need to do now to prepare• an introduction to the Job Support Scheme (JSS), which provides different types of support to businesses so that they can get the right assistance, at the right time,...
If you deferred paying your July 2020 Payment on Account, you will need to pay the deferred amount, in addition to any balancing payment and first 2020/21 Payment on Account, by 3‌1‌‌ ‌‌January 2021. This may be a larger payment than you usually pay in January. If you're unable to pay your Self-Assessment (SA) bill in full by 31‌‌ January 2021, you can set up a Time to Pay payment plan of up to 12 months online without speaking to us. If you have SA tax debts of up to £30,000, you'll able to access this Time to Pay facility through GOV‌.UK and will get automatic and immediate approval. If your SA debts are over £30,000, or you need longer than 12 months to repay your debt in full, you will still be able to use our Time to Pay arrangement...
If you deferred payments that were due between 20 March and 30 June 2020, then these payments need to be made to HMRC by 31‌‌ March 2021. You can use the New Payment Scheme to spread these payments over equal instalments up to 31‌‌ March 2022. Alternatively, you can make payments as normal by 31‌‌ March 2021 or make Time To Pay arrangements with HMRC if you need more tailored support.
The government has extended the temporary reduced rate of VAT (5%) to tourist attractions and goods and services supplied by the hospitality sector. This relief came into effect on 15 July 2020 and will now end on 31‌‌ March 2021 across the UK.
Job Support Scheme A new Job Support Scheme will be introduced from ‌‌1‌‌ November to protect jobs where businesses are facing lower demand over the winter months due to coronavirus (COVID-19).  Under the scheme, which will run for six months, the government will contribute towards the wages of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due to decreased demand.  You will continue to pay the wages for the hours your staff work. For the hours not worked, you and the government will each pay one third of their usual wages (capped at £697.92 per month). You will need to meet your share of the pay for unworked hours and all your National Insurance contributions and statutory pension contributions, from your own funds. This means that...
Updates to the Simple Energy Advice website, allowing homeowners and landlords to check how the government’s new Green Homes Grant scheme can help make their homes warmer and more energy efficient, have been launched. The Green Home Grants scheme, due to open by the end of September, will allow consumers to obtain funding for up to two-thirds of the cost of the energy saving measures identified, in the form of vouchers. Find out more here
The government has introduced a new Kickstart scheme in Great Britain, a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high quality 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment. Funding available for each job will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. To help smaller businesses, employers offering fewer than 30 placements will be asked to make a bid through an intermediary, such as a Local Authority or Chamber of Commerce, who will then bid for 30 or more placements as a combined bid from several...
To support businesses with employees returning to work from the Monday 15 June, the Department for Transport has developed resources for employers, which you can find here. The above sets out some steps employers can take to help provide a safe return to work for employees on the transport network, including encouraging active travel, and travel outside peak hours.
On Monday 15 June, many retailers across the country will be reopening, and the Government is keen to help welcome back shoppers and celebrate the hard work businesses and retail workers are putting in to ensure their workplaces are COVID-19 Secure. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is encouraging business owners and shop workers to take photos in front of their ‘open’ sign next week and post these on their social media channels as part of the #OpenForBusiness Campaign. To support the campaign, please do the following: Take a photo of yourself in front of your reopening business, preferably in front of an ‘Open’ sign Post the picture on your social media channels Use #openforbusiness Tag the Department for...
As highlighted last week, please note the following deadlines for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - especially the deadline of yesterday (10 June), which is the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee to complete the full three-week furlough cycle. • The scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June. From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30 June.• This means that the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be the 10 June (today), in order for the current three-week furlough period to be completed by 30 June. Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of...
The Business Secretary confirmed yesterday evening (Tuesday 9 June) that shops in England selling non-essential goods will be able to reopen from Monday 15 June, thanks to continuing progress in meeting our 5 tests. High street retailers and department stores, including book shops, electronics retailers, tailors, auction houses, photography studios, indoor markets, and shops selling clothes, shoes and toys, will be allowed to open their doors again provided they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines set out by the government in May. Employers should also display a notice visibly in their shop windows or outside their store to show their employees, customers and other visitors that they have followed this guidance. The downloadable sign...
Below is a reminder of the key changes and deadlines you need to be aware of for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme:• From 1 July, employers can bring back to work employees that have previously been furloughed for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for their normal hours not worked. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week.• The scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June. From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full 3 week period prior to 30 June.• This means that the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first...
Trade Credit Insurance, which provides essential cover to hundreds of thousands of business-to-business transactions, will receive up to £10 billion of government guarantees. The Trade Credit Reinsurance scheme, which has been agreed following extensive discussions with the insurance sector, will see the vast majority of Trade Credit Insurance coverage maintained across the UK. The guarantees will support supply chains and help businesses during the coronavirus pandemic to trade with confidence, safe in the knowledge that they will be protected if a customer defaults or delays on payment. The scheme is available on a temporary basis for nine months, backdated to 1 April 2020, and available to insurers operating in the UK market. Read the...
As per the Transport Secretary's announcement in yesterday's press conference, wearing face coverings on public transport will be mandatory in England from Monday 15 June. Key points to note:• The new guidance refers to face coverings - not surgical masks - which you can easily make at home.• Exemptions will be made for very young children, the disabled and those with breathing difficulties. • You can be refused travel if you don’t comply and could be fined. Alongside transport operators, this will be enforced by the British Transport Police, as necessary. Transport Secretary's full statement here Further guidance will follow in the coming days, which we will circulate.
Update for 1st June – as mentioned in the Government update on Friday, the Coronavirus FAQs page has been updated with additional information on social distancing from yesterday (1st June 2020): More information here Also, note that BEIS continue to deliver free working safely webinars for businesses: This week's webinars are:- Tuesday 2 June: 11am: Offices & contact centres- Tuesday 2 June: 3pm: Other people's homes Finally, government social media channels continue to share examples of businesses that have reopened safely. see below for some examples of businesses, explaining how they are ensuring safe working: Vistry Group, Kent, South East: Construction (House building)More information Bott Ltd, Bude, South West: Manufacturing More...
Following the PM update yesterday on the UK's progress against each of the five tests we had to meet before adjusting the lockdown. Full details of this statement can be found here From Monday 1st June1) Nurseries and other early years settings and reception, year one and year six in primary schools will reopen in a safe way; 2) Outdoor retail and car showrooms, where social distancing is generally easier, will reopen; and 3) Up to six people will be able to meet outside (in parks, gardens and other private outdoor space) - provided those from different households continue strictly to observe social distancing rules by staying two metres apart. Please note that those who have been asked to shield themselves should continue to do so....
As per the Health and Social Care Secretary's statement yesterday afternoon, the government has announced that the new NHS Test and Trace service will be launched today (Thursday 28th May) across England. From today (28/5/20), anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes. Click here for test and trace workplace guidance…. People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has a positive test must stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, to stop unknowingly spreading the...
The Prime Minister set out a timeline for retail to reopen from 1st June and further guidance has been published for how to operate safely to protect staff and customers. Full details of the announcement can be found here Guidance for reopening can be found here Key details to note:• Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June, as soon as they are able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines to protect shoppers and workers. As with garden centres, the risk of transmission of the virus is lower in these outdoor and more open spaces. Car showrooms often have significant outdoor space and it is generally easier to apply social distancing.• All other non-essential retail including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys,...
The recently announced Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will go live from 26th May, when a new online service will be launched for small and medium-sized employers - with fewer than 250 employees - to recover Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees. Employers will receive repayments at the relevant rate of SSP that they have paid to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020. Full guidance can be found here
Eligibility details for the Future Fund, which was set up to provide government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors, has been updated. Please note that applications for the Fund will open on Wednesday 20 May 2020.
The government will invest up to £93 million to accelerate construction of the new Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) which, when completed, will have capacity to produce enough vaccine doses to serve the entire UK population in as little as six months. The funding will ensure the centre opens in Summer 2021, a full 12 months ahead of schedule. More Information.
The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid to current or former employees. The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks starting from the first qualifying day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work because they either: - Have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms;- Cannot work because they are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms; or- Are shielding and have a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks. The online service you’ll use to reclaim SSP is not available yet. HMRC will announce when the service is available and the guidance linked above will be updated.
From today, everyone in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who is showing coronavirus symptoms is eligible to book a swab test to find out if they have the virus.
The UK Chief Medical Officers have today released a statement saying that individuals will need to self-isolate immediately if they develop a new continuous cough or fever or, as of today, anosmia. Anosmia is the loss of or a change in the normal sense of smell. It can also affect the sense of taste as the two are closely linked. More information.  
As people are starting to return to work, we have created a Safer Transport toolkit for stakeholders to share to help inform the public on the necessary steps they should be taking to stay safe when they travel using any form of transport.  
The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme went live yesterday so self-employed individuals or members of partnerships whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus can apply for a grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500, paid in a single instalment. You can check eligibility here  
An explanation of how holiday entitlement and pay operate during the coronavirus pandemic, where it differs from the standard holiday entitlement and pay guidance. This guidance applies to those that have continued to work as well as those that have been furloughed.  

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The Federation was established in 1947 as an independent, non-profit making organisation to support the needs of window cleaners in the UK. Owned by and run only for the benefit of our members. Our purpose is to maintain and improve the window cleaning industry and to represent our membership, updating our image in line with the unrivalled federation that we have become today and in turn we continue to re evaluate the service offering we supply to our membership.

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