Up to 4,000 cleaning companies may be operating illegally

CleaningCleaning.Photo: pixabay.com

If you sell, or buy, black-market cleaning services to private homes, the chances of being caught are ‘almost nil’, concludes a new report.

In a report from the organization SINTEF (Applied Research, Technology and Innovation) and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), it emerged that the illegal portion of the cleaning industry is most likely to be far greater than it was previously believed.

About 4,000 businesses have never applied for approval, and 90% of these companies are sole proprietorships, reported the Dagbladet newspaper.

‘With the current situation, it is reasonable to assume that many participants speculate that the consequences for violating the law are minimal’, the researchers wrote in the report.

The Confederation of Norwegian Service Industries (NHO) believes the largest part of the private market is ‘off the books’, while others believe the number is around 50%. When the threat of punishment is not considered real, it has little to no deterrent effect.

‘It’s disturbing. Undeclared work is a major threat to the welfare state, and to the employees of the cleaning industry. If there are no consequences for breaking the law, it will contribute to a more slap-dash working environment’, said the Director of Labour Inspection, Trude Vollheim Webb, to Dagbladet newspaper.

She believes it is important to give a loud and clear warning to the consumers of black market services.

‘We are concerned that Norwegians may risk inviting criminals into their home without being aware of it. This creates the basis for both the exploitation of workers, and for social dumping’, said Webb.

She wishes to discuss a ban on buying cleaning from businesses that are not approved by the Labour Inspectorate.

‘But it is a measure that must be decided politically’, said Webb.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today