Offering Secure and Reliable Working Conditions for Cleaners in Colombia

Hogaru offers quality cleaning and maintenance services to clients in Colombia and well paid, long-term job opportunities to collaborators
Jun 1, 2020 1:00 PM ET
Blog

BOGOTA, Colombia, June 1, 2020 – Digital platform Hogaru has joined Business Call to Action with an aim to include 3,100 informal household cleaners into the labour market in Colombia by 2022. Hogaru promotes decent working conditions within the Colombian home cleaning market by assuring all professional cleaners are hired as per law, with fair salaries and legal benefits.

Launched in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that engage people with less than US$10 per day in purchasing power (in 2015 dollars) as consumers, producers, suppliers and distributors. It is supported by several international organizations and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

In Colombia, there are over 750,000 people employed in the cleaning and people-care market. While the home cleaning market represents a $2 billion opportunity in Colombia, the majority of cleaners are working in the informal market, without proper contracts or basic labour rights. The vast majority of these cleaners are women who come from vulnerable backgrounds and are single female heads of households, placing them at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid. Due to a lack of primary education, job opportunities are limited for such women, the jobs they get are often not at the minimum salary level – making ends meet very difficult for such workers.

Almost 90 percent of cleaners neither work with proper labour contracts nor receive basic labour rights, a violation of Colombian law and a risk for customers and employees.

As a response to this issue, Hogaru has integrated low-income stakeholders into their inclusive business model, providing formalized labour and stable employment.

In Colombia, the formalized cleaning market is composed of large cleaning companies that offer their service to large commercial properties such as hospital and universities. Part-time services are offered by the informal market only.

Hogaru fills this gap in the job market by providing a fully legal service, where cleaners are formally and legally employed by the company with all benefits. Cleaners are given a steady job through direct contracts and are paid fair wages with benefits, including access to social security such as health, pensions and a family welfare fund.

The company selects, trains and manages a team of hundreds of cleaners, to provide reliable and safe services.  They offer professional cleaning and maintenance services to households and offices by offering a formal and legal solution to whomever needs part-time services at home or office.

Hogaru is responsible for finding clients for these cleaners, which means regardless of whether they are assigned to a client or not on any given day, they receive their full salary with benefits on a monthly basis.

The company provides its workers with emergency loans, in order to solve temporary financial gaps due to urgent matters or emergencies. So far, they have issued more than 5,000 loans.

Through technology, the company optimizes the cleaners’ agenda and allows them to work with multiple clients per week. A matching algorithm works to allocate the optimal cleaner to each client, based on different criteria like availability, geographical location, type of cleaning service requested and so on.

“Most of the cleaners Hogaru represents have been given their first formal jobs by the company and 84% of them have experienced an improvement in their economic stability after joining us,” said Matteo Cera, CEO of Hogaru.

“Hogaru’s inclusive business model bridges the gap in the market for decent working conditions for cleaners while dignifying and giving credibility to a job that engages hundreds of thousands of people in Colombia,” said Luciana Aguiar, Head of Business Call to Action.

For further information:
BCtA: bcta@undp.org   
Hogaru: Matteo Cera, CEO Hogaru at matteo@hogaru.com
 
BCtA membership does not constitute a partnership with its funding and programme partners, UNDP or any UN agency.

About Business Call to Action (BCtA): Launched at the United Nations in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. BCtA is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), UK Department for International Development (DFID), and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org.

About HOGARU: HOGARU is a digital platform that allows customers to hire household and cafeteria services with the desired frequency (days and hours), manage and easily pay their reservations as well as qualify the cleaning professionals who perform the service. Founded in 2014, the company selects, trains and manages a team of hundreds of home maids, to provide reliable and safe services.