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Cleaning with a conscience


Proxiservice was started two decades ago to help those in the cities of Quaregnon and Mons to keep a tidy home. In 2004, the cleaning service affiliated with the Belgian government’s Titre Service programme designed to create new jobs and battle illegal employment. “The idea is simple,” says Hélène Myle, codirector with Charlotte Laurent of Proxiservice scrl FS.

“An individual or family who wants to hire a cleaning service, for example, buys a government-subsidized check from a preapproved store or company like Proxiservice. The customer pays 7.50 EUR per hour while the service provider receives 21.72 EUR from the state budget. Part of these funds pay the worker for his or her service, while some is used to provide him or her with a decent pension and health insurance, making the employee more socially secure. Customers can also deduct the subsidy checks from their taxes. This is a great programme for our area since the Hainaut province has a high unemployment rate.”

Between its two offices, Proxiservice last reported an annual turnover of just under one million EUR and employs 50 people. Of these, 30 employees have been with the company for four years or more. “Many of our employees come to us with little or no experience, so all of our cleaning personnel receives at least three training sessions such as in ironing or product orientation,” explains Ms. Myle.

Customer satisfaction is key to Proxiservice’s success. “The majority of our new clients come from satisfied customer recommendations,” states Ms. Myle. “We see ourselves as the link between customers and employees. We introduce the employee to the customer, and in the rare case that a client is dissatisfied, we send the employee to another training session.”

To build on its accomplishments, Proxiservice continues to implement its business plan of favouring social consciousness over pure profits. “This company philosophy will help us to increase our weekly work hours from 850 to 1,000, institute further employee training and hopefully earn governmental recognition for social economy and innovation,” says Ms. Myle. Proxiservice provides thorough services that keep the home as well as the conscience clean.

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