Final nail in coffin as government continues to ignore hospitality laundries

 “Dire.”  That’s the current state of the commercial laundries servicing the hospitality market, according to the Textile Services Association (TSA). 24,000 jobs in hospitality laundries are on the line and, despite repeated calls for help, the government has done little or nothing.

Now there’s a new fear – killer cash flow.  It works like this: in March, the hospitality market starts opening up with the so-called bounce back.  Laundries come back on line to service hotels, leisure centres and restaurants.  In March and April the laundries have work, but they also have costs, from day one: wages, fuel, transport and so on.  But at this stage, no money is coming in.  Why?  Because the accepted model for most hospitality laundries is to invoice at the end of month – and then they typically get paid on around 60 days.

And that’s the point at which many hospitality laundry businesses will get the final nail in their coffin.

“Government inaction is driving the industry into the ground,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA.  “We’re not asking for special treatment, we just want the support that other businesses are getting.  Rates relief would be a start.  Amending the guidance to local authorities on discretionary grants, so that we can be included.  Deferment of VAT until payback is viable.  Extending the terms of government loans until we can afford to repay them, and making more available during bounce back.

“Cash: that, in a word, is what we need.”

The TSA fought long and hard to get laundries included in the government support schemes.  It finally achieved success when it was announced that companies that supplied the hospitality sector, and relied on it for most of their business, would be eligible for discretionary grants from the local authority.  “Now that ‘success’ feels like a kick in the teeth,” says Stevens.   “We’re just not getting anywhere.  Virtually every laundry that has applied has been turned down.

“Yet again our industry is being ignored.  We are part of the hospitality sector and will not survive without support.  What’s it going to take to get some action?  Another 24,000 people on the dole?”

If you wish to discuss the above or if you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us on  020 3151 5600 or at tsa@tsa-uk.org.


TSA warns that lack of support puts thousands of laundry workers’ jobs at risk

Rishi Sunak has forgotten the hospitality laundry industry yet again.  Still no support.  Despite determined lobbying by the Textile Services Association (TSA) including, most recently, an open letter asking – pleading – the chancellor to think again. The commercial laundries that service the hospitality sector, employing around 28,000 people, have been left to sink or swim.

The TSA, which represents the UK’s commercial hospitality laundry industry, is once again calling on the government to help before many of its members are forced out of business for good. 

“The government is not learning,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA.  “Or perhaps it doesn’t care.  The first national lockdown nearly destroyed the commercial laundries who service the hospitality industry.  They had virtually no help from the government as they were deemed ineligible for rate rebates and hospitality grants, so apart from the furlough scheme, which is ending, they were left on their own.  The new Job Support Scheme won’t help, either – with business volumes down by 70% or more, hospitality laundries can hardly afford to pay staff to work, let alone pay them NOT to work.

“Our industry is on its knees, and the government is just turning its back on us.” 

The situation hospitality laundries find themselves in is aggravated by the fact that, encouraged by the government, many borrowed money to see them through the summer.  Money which they have to pay back at some point.  But Covid-19 is still here and their business volumes are dropping again as local lockdowns are getting more widespread. 

The TSA has called for extensions to the furlough scheme or grant support for those businesses that supply the hospitality sector in lockdown areas.  “Without help, they will go under,” says Stevens. “Tens of thousands of jobs are at risk if the government does not take immediate action to support our industry.” 

If you wish to discuss the above or if you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us on  020 3151 5600 or at tsa@tsa-uk.org.

Rest Assured: UK Laundries Pledge to Hospitality Industry

TSA works with UK Hospitality on laundry advice in a Covid-19 world

UK laundries are working hard to support the re-emerging hospitality market by establishing new protocols for a Covid-19 world.  The Textile Services Association (TSA) has worked with UK Hospitality to produce the Rest Assured Pledge, a package of advice, guidance and certification that is designed to help hotels, restaurants and leisure facilities ensure the safe handling of linen and textiles.

Key to the successful reopening of the hospitality sector is making customers feel safe and secure.  That’s why the Pledge includes a Rest Assured certificate that TSA laundries can give to hospitality operators to display, verifying that their linens and towels have been hygienically cleaned.  There are various versions of the certificate, for different sectors. 

The Pledge includes a 16-point coronavirus briefing for operators, which covers a wide range of topics.  They include the basics, like keeping clean and dirty linen segregated; the practical, such as storing soiled linen for collection on a ground floor, near to an external exit but away from public foot flow; and the advanced, including dealing with dirty linen of a guest who develops Covid-19 symptoms. 

As you’d expect, the Pledge also includes a pledge, which covers the protocols that TSA member laundries will follow to ensure not only that textiles are cleaned to the highest standards, but also that they are handled safely.  They include:

  • An overarching commitment to deliver the highest industry standards
  • Sanitisation of textiles, using chemicals and/or temperature
  • Protection of cleaned linen after washing
  • Regular disinfection of laundry transport cages
  • Delivery vehicles regularly deep-cleaned inside and out
  • All laundry plants compliant with Working Safely Guidelines – Covid Secure

“Going forward, it’s critical that laundries and hospitality operators are able to meet new operational procedures to protect staff and customers,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA.  “Hospitality needs laundries, and laundries need the hospitality industry.  We are two sides of the same coin and we are stronger together.  The Rest Assured Pledge will help us meet the challenges of the new normal.”

The TSA is the trade association for the textile care services industry. The TSA represent commercial laundry and textile rental businesses. Membership ranges from family-run operations through to large, multi-national companies. If you wish to discuss the above or if you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us on  020 3151 5600 or at tsa@tsa-uk.org.