A DORCHESTER cleaning firm said staff could soon be fined for cleaning care homes and schools during the coronavirus outbreak.

Spotless Cleaning Solutions has put out an urgent call for the Government to add commercial cleaners to the list of key workers allowed to work during the current lockdown.

Business owner Janet Nash said her staff are providing deep cleaning services at care homes as well as schools in the local area, where children of key workers and vulnerable families are still in attendance, as well as carrying out cleaning for vulnerable people in assisted living.

However, only cleaners at NHS facilities are on the Government key worker list, leading to concerns they could be fined.

Janet Nash said: "Our staff are providing a vital service preventing infection and reducing risk of contamination for children, vulnerable adults and the elderly.

"If fines are imposed for leaving your home or attending work when you do not have key worker status, where does that leave commercial cleaners whose roles right now are essential in keeping facilities open and infection free?"

Ms Nash said that social distancing measures have been put in place for staff, who are working in isolation and travelling in company cars without using public transport, while the office-based team is working from home. The domestic cleaning side of the business has been put on hold.

"The cleaners we employ are fully prepared with PPE," Ms Nash added. "We have planned ahead for this crisis by ensuring we carry enough commercial chemicals to prevent the spread of Covid-19 on surfaces.

"Our role is vital to keeping these places open for the children of key workers, the vulnerable and the elderly."

Alongside other commercial cleaning firms around the UK, the company has now signed a petition calling for the Government to update the list of key workers, which has been sent to Downing Street.

Meanwhile, the British Cleaning Council (BCC) has launched an appeal in response to the omission.

Paul Thrupp, chairman, said: "Even in lockdown, premises and particularly education, retail, healthcare establishments and care homes will require more frequent sanitisation regimes at what may well be a premium time to do so.

"It is essential that the workforce is kept available by being identified as ‘critical or key workers’ by the Prime Minister and the British Government."