Thanking the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic

On Monday, 23 March New Zealanders listened with mounting concern as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that New Zealand would move into full lockdown in 48 hours. As many New Zealanders scrambled to set themselves up for a work from home situation, others were facing a very different situation as they moved to protect our country from the invisible but deadly threat.

This year, thanking our cleaners is more important than ever; like our healthcare professionals, they’re on the frontline of New Zealand’s COVID-19 response. 

Thank Your Cleaner Day™

Thank Your Cleaner Day™ on Wednesday, 21 October 2020, is a chance to thank the many Kiwis who provide this essential ‘invisible’ service.

New Zealand’s largest facilities management services company, OCS New Zealand, has a network of 3,500 frontline cleaners providing essential services from Kaitaia to Invercargill. Its managing director Gareth Marriott says it’s undeniable the important contribution cleaners make to society. 

“This once-invisible workforce of cleaners has become the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside supermarket warriors and the extraordinary work done by our health personnel. Bursting their bubbles during lockdown to keep the rest of us safe, deep cleaning COVID-19 impacted areas and working harder than ever before as we come to terms with the virus and how best to stop the spread.

“We appreciate the work our people do every day, but in 2020 we want to make these hard-working members of our society feel more valued than ever before by the New Zealand public.” 

Recognising challenging mahi

Business New Zealand Chief Executive Kirk Hope is admiring of the work that the workforce does and acknowledges the work is often challenging.

“From cleaning grubby public facilities to gruesome crime scenes, and of course recently, deep cleans of facilities exposed to the COVID-19 virus, I’m sure New Zealand’s cleaners have seen it all, and then some.

“I’m 100% behind this initiative and urge every Kiwi business to step up too – a little thanks costs nothing but goes a long way to lift the mental wellbeing of one of New Zealand’s most diligent workforces.”

Thank Your Cleaner Day™ celebrates the more than 40,000 Kiwis in Aotearoa that dedicate their working hours to keep our work, recreation and learning environments hygienic, clean, safe and productive – often working unsociable hours in the early morning, late at night and on weekends.

Spearheaded by BSCNZ and Kärcher in New Zealand since 2015, Thank Your Cleaner Day™ has quickly grown into a global initiative celebrating the invaluable contribution cleaners make to our communities. 

BSCNZ CEO Sarah McBride says Thank Your Cleaner Day™ provides the opportunity for people to recognise the essential, hard work that the cleaners of New Zealand undertake daily.

“It is fantastic to see the day continuing to grow and gain momentum as more companies show their support of the day.”

For more about Thank Your Cleaner Day™, and to download collateral such as ‘Thank You’ cards, visit: or

Ways to thank your cleaner this Thank Your Cleaner Day

  • Leave a ‘Thank You’ card for your cleaner
  • Hang up Thank Your Cleaner Day posters, or change your digital signage with a ‘Thank You’ message
  • Take a few moments to stop and acknowledge your cleaner – a simple smile and ‘thank you’ would be really appreciated
  • You can also choose to nominate your cleaner/s to win a Thank Your Cleaner Day gift hamper by making a video, creating a piece of artwork or writing a poem or story. Send your submission to by Friday, 16 October. The winners will be announced on OCS’ Facebook page on Thank Your Cleaner Day.