Can domestic cleaners work during England's second lockdown?

With a second lockdown being introduced in England from Thursday 5 November, you might be wondering if your cleaner can still work in your home.

The rules for cleaners differ depending on whether they work in a private home, or in a commercial property - so here is the latest government guidance explained.

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Can cleaners still work?

The government has published guidance on its restrictions coming into effect from 5 November.

According to the guidance around working, cleaners are allowed to work in homes in England. It states: “Where it is necessary to work in other people’s homes - for example, for nannies, cleaners or tradespeople - you can do so.”

What if I am a cleaner but also a vulnerable person?

While no specific guidance has been set out for the national lockdown, rules that were in place previously state that those who must take extra precautions because they identify as a vulnerable person, are ‘advised not to go to work’ by the government.

Do cleaners need to socially distance while working?

No specific guidance has yet been set out for the national lockdown, but according to previous guidance, households must comply with the same guidelines as public and private venues, with social distancing and increased hygiene measures in place.

These restrictions do not apply to live-in cleaners, who should be considered a member of the household they work in.

If a cleaner is working in a vulnerable person’s house, they should avoid face to face contact where possible (such as answering the door or receiving payment).

Before going to a house to work, cleaners should “communicate with households prior to arrival”, and on arrival “ensure the household understands the social distancing and hygiene measures that should be followed once work has commenced”.

In addition, cleaners should dispose of all household waste and cleaning products on the property, if they aren’t going to be reused.

Any cleaning products which are being taken to another household or venue should be cleaned thoroughly.

Can a cleaner work in a home where people are self isolating?

Cleaners should not enter the home of any person who is self isolating due to having tested positive for coronavirus.

What else should cleaners do to stay safe?

Social distancing must still be adhered to. This means two metres, or one metre with risk mitigation where two metres are not viable.

Face coverings should be worn and the amount of time working in any confined space should be kept to a minimum if it cannot be completely avoided.

Should a cleaner work with other individuals, they should work side to side or back to back rather than face to face.

For full details of the government's guidance for the lockdown starting on 5 November, go to its website.