Brexit dangers for the commercial laundry services

Brexit dangers for the commercial laundry services in Great Britain

TSA, the Textile Services Association, published a report stressing the Brexit dangers for the commercial laundry services in Great Britain. TSA fears that economic challenges may bring mega-sized laundrettes to a grinding halt, causing a detrimental impact on the UK economy. The association suggests the industry is reliant on migrant labour from the EU, thus it is calling on the Government to secure a transitional deal. The deal should prioritise a flexible immigration system and minimal import tariffs to allow for access to labour, industrial equipment and cleaning chemicals. Members continue to invest record levels in innovation and automation in their plants. Given the sector contributes £1.86 billion to the UK economy, the Government must secure a good deal post Brexit.

The UK’s £1.86 billion commercial laundry industry faces four main economic challenges according to the report:

  • Brexit – the industry’s workforce is made up of 40% non-UK EU Nationals who fear an uncertain status.
  • Recruitment – the sector directly employs 34,400 people. TSA’s survey found 62% of laundry firms had unfilled vacancies.
  • Downward pressure on prices – the record plunge in sterling has pushed up import prices.
  • Rising costs of production – in the second quarter of 2017, costs had increased by a weighted average of 4.05%.

Further, the findings show the commercial laundry industry provides £260m to the UK Exchequer; cleaning and laundering 53 million individual textile pieces per week.

Commenting Dr Philip Wright, Chief Executive of the TSA said that “the report proves that a surprising number of UK industries are reliant on textile services in order to operate. Everyone from patients, tourists, factory workers and chefs rely on products processed by TSA member firms. TSA members call on the Government to make the right choices during Brexit negotiations.”

The full report can be found here.