Too little attention from National Governments on the PTC industry problems

In every corner of the world, the coronavirus crisis is causing several unexpected situations, operation disruptions. loses and change of plans. The virus spread is affecting every single entity in the Professional Textile Care industry. We at CINET are in permanent contact with all the parties, as well as supporting the National Associations address these issues with Governments.

With few notable exceptions, the governments pays too little attention to the position of the Professional Textile Care industry.  We will present you some examples received from our members and partners from several countries:

Update from United Kingdom. COVID 19 – Government measures

Following the Government’s announcement on Friday, additional support is now in place to support businesses.  These measures are in addition to those announced earlier last week in respect of Statutory Sick Pay and Business Rates.

The following link will direct you to the most up to date guidance.

This guidance covers:

Financial support for Employers via a Job Retention Scheme This will give all UK employers access to financial support and aims to help those workers that would otherwise be made redundant or laid off. Employers will need to identify these specific workers and, in these cases, HMRC will reimburse 80% of each workers wage cost up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. Further information on how this scheme will work is yet to be announced but the main points are as follows:

  • All UK employers will be able to access financial support.
  • The scheme aims to help those who would otherwise be made redundant or laid off.
  • Employers need to designate the affected employees as ‘Furlough workers’. (“F” workers”) This is a new term that is not currently recognised in Employment Law.
  • Employers must agree who is an “F” worker not the employee.
  • Changing an employee’s employment status to an “F “worker will need to be agreed with the employee.
  • If an employee agrees to be an “F” worker, they can stay at home on 80% of pay.
  • Once designated as a “F” worker, the employer will submit info to HMRC (employee details and earnings) via a new online portal. This is yet to be set up. The Government is due to provide further details shortly. We are hoping that for all AGP payroll clients we will be able to operate the portal for you in a similar way to how we access pension portals.
  • HMRC will then reimburse 80% of the “F” worker’s wage costs up to a cap of £2,500 per month (including NI and pension contributions)
  • To enable employers to claim 80% of wages up to £2,500 per month, employees must not undertake work whilst furloughed.
  • Employers can pay the extra 20% to top up to normal pay or choose not to.


UK. David Stevens, CEO, Textile Services Association (TSA), calls on the Government to do more to help laundries in the NHS/healthcare and hospitality sectors deal with and survive the Covid-19 crisis.

Dear Sirs,

We have been ramping up our lobbying efforts with the belief that we are making good progress and were talking to the right people in Government. So far, we have received loads of nice promises and some positive feedback, but unfortunately very little action.

Our industry operates on various fronts but all of them are essential to supporting the UK economy. Our invisible industry is made up of 28,000 hardworking team players who, if they ceased working, would certainly become extremely visible as many elements of the UK economy and healthcare would cease operations within 24 hrs. To spell it out: No clean bed linen, no towels, no clean scrubs, no clean uniforms, no specialist PPE cleaning = No patient care and no functioning NHS to fight the virus.

Twenty-five per cent of the TSA membership supports the healthcare sector, predominantly the NHS, and despite constant lobbying for ‘essential service provider’ status, we are still left in the dark. The NHS and other healthcare establishments are struggling for access to PPE and if the people washing infected linen are not frontline healthcare workers, then I don’t know who is. Will healthcare laundry operators, the food industry and pharmaceutical garment laundries, from Monday, when schools are shut indefinitely, have to stay off work to look after their children? We need the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to add commercial laundries dealing with NHS and healthcare work to the ‘protected list’. TSA has asked for this, and again, we have had no response.

However, as worrying as the NHS and healthcare situation is, 75% of commercial laundry workers operate within the hospitality laundry sector. In this sector, we are seeing a catastrophic drop in revenue lines of 80%-90%. While we have seen some Government response, it is totally inadequate to the scale of the issues.

To spell it out: Failure to help hospitality laundries survive the downturn in business due to Covid-19 means many laundries servicing that sector may not be here to support it when we come out of the crisis. In four weeks’ time, we most certainly will see all small hospitality laundries go out of business and even the very large PLC laundry companies simply may not be able to carry on without support.


USA. CLA urging authorities to designate laundromats as providing “essential services”

A statement from CLA (USA) has been released this week targeting state governments and requesting that authorities designate all Laundromats as “essential services” that provide a basic health service by serving millions of families with a safe place to wash and dry their clothes every week.

“The Coin Laundry Association (CLA), the national trade association for the laundromat industry, has been urging authorities to designate laundromats as providing “essential services” during the COVID-19 outbreak. These facilities provide a basic public health service by serving millions of families with a safe place to wash and dry their clothes each and every week.

In alignment with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations, American families should continue to observe the best levels of cleanliness and hygiene possible, including regular clothes washing, during the pandemic. Access to services is particularly important for laundromat customers who are often among low-income families with few alternatives to the neighborhood laundromat for clothes washing.

CLA is sharing CDC recommendations with its members regarding enhanced cleaning of hard surfaces and other “high touch” areas within their stores. The industry is committed to providing the cleanest, safest environment possible for its customers. The commercial-grade washers found in laundromats provide rigorous mechanical action which combined with hot water and proper detergent use effectively flush contaminants from clothing. Commercial gas-fired dryers deliver proper heating to further protect garments from harm.

The 30,000 small business owners of laundromats in the United States stand ready to help families keep their clothes clean during the pandemic. CLA is ready to work with Federal, state and municipal authorities to keep laundromats running during this crucial time.”


Australia. The Drycleaning Institute’s request to the Government

Brian Tonkin, CEO of the Drycleaning Institute of Australia has contacted Mr Greg Hunt, Minister for Health, to request that drycleaning (and laundry) be declared an essential service during the COVID-19 outbreak.  Please see below for the full text of the DIA’s submission:

“Dear Minister Hunt,


I wish to confirm the Laundry and Drycleaning Industry, both retail and commercial is considered an essential service to the health and safety of the community and as such not subject to planned future business closures. Such confirmation is based on but not limited to the following:

  • Medical Centres such as hospitals, smaller day centres and clinics are serviced on a daily basis to ensure correct standards of hygiene are applied to linen, gowns, uniforms, etc.
  • Essential services such as Police, Ambulance, Fire Fighters, require both drycleaning and laundry.
  • Contracts are in place for allied essential services such as refineries for worker’s overalls and protective equipment.
  • Hotels:
  • Where staff may be exposed to the COVID-19 due to contact with local and overseas guests and:
  • Hotel rooms are used as an isolation area for an individual family person not wishing to infect other family and friends.
  • Airlines – staff uniforms where many drycleaners and laundries nationally have arrangements with both operational staff and the airline.

Professional cleaning both laundry and drycleaning have a history of being able to kill aggressive viruses. There is a high level of expertise applied to the efficient processing of such work. Whether it be disinfectants combined with temperature in the laundry process, or the combination of drycleaning solvents, together with the temperatures associated with the drying and finishing processes this combination provides a very high level of assurance. It is considered home laundry is unlikely to have the same or consistent results.

Thank you for your time to review this email, and the stance the Government has taken with regard combatting the virus on a national level and in our instance – small business.

Kind regards

Brian Tonkin



Belgium. The National Federation’s call to the Government

“The federation of Belgian Textile Care asks the government to put the laundries on a priority list so that they can touch protective material more quickly. “Our suppliers, small and large, are telling us that they are not allowed to sell mouth masks to us. But it is not an option to have our personnel process contaminated linen without respiratory protection,” the federation said in a press release.”


Share your story!

As PTC’s global umbrella organization, CINET aims to create a open-platform in which every one of you can share his/her company’s experience during the coronavirus crisis. Therefore, feel free to share your experience (with text and photos) that you can send at or using our social media accounts. We will publish them in the E-News section and weekly newsletter.