European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards 2018 Winner - Ilunion Facility Services

18th of July 2019
European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards 2018 Winner - Ilunion Facility Services

Ilunion Facility Services in Spain has a business model based on the balance between social and economic issues. Its key commitment is to create quality jobs for people with disabilities at risk of social exclusion. At the 2018 European Cleaning & Hygiene awards it was given the prize in the category Workforce – Commitment to Diversity.

Part of the Ilunion Group, Ilunion Facility Services is a facilities services provider based in Spain. It has a business model based on the balance between social and economic issues and its core commitment is to create quality jobs for disabled people at risk of social exclusion. The company has formulated its own people management model and a programme of diversity and integration policies through its Special Employment Centres (CEE).

With its focus on these Special Employment Centres Ilunion’s diversity policies concentrate on four aspects: disability, gender, age and groups at risk of social exclusion. This could be female victims of domestic violence, for example.

Through the programme of social and personal adjustment developed by the company its supporting units – a multidisciplinary team of social workers – facilitate a better labour and social integration of employees with disabilities into the workplace, as well as in their social and family environments.

This takes place at work centres throughout Spain and encompasses adaptation of those employees’ workplaces according to ergonomic and psychosocial needs. As a follow-up periodic inspections are carried out on a regular basis.

Training is a central element to the success of the operation and at Ilunion training is continuous. And that’s not just in the practical aspects of doing the job of cleaning, it’s also oriented to the empowerment of people with disabilities – giving them new social, technical and technological skills.
Sporting, cultural and recreational activities are encouraged as these have been proven to improve the self-esteem, wellbeing and health of the employees. And the Social Aid Catalogue includes 26 economic benefits to improve their quality of life and employability.

In 2014, a collaboration agreement between Fundación Integra, Fundación Once, Asociación Inserta Empleo – other Spanish organisations specialising in the integration of those at risk of social exclusion into the workforce - and the Ilunion Group was signed in order to promote the employment of female victims of gender violence with disability. In 2016, Cruz Roja Espanola – the Spanish Red Cross – also entered into the collaboration.

As part of the Special Employment Centre initiative, career plans are developed to promote the employability of young people with disabilities in middle management positions. This encourages the retention of talent and means Ilunion employs qualified professionals in the relevant roles. Not just that, it has strengthened the internal promotion of women from operative to supervisory positions.

Now Ilunion also has plans to incorporate men and women over 45 who have no income and with family responsibilities into its workforce, through a partnership with Novaterra Foundation.

When looking at the workforce data of the Cleaning Special Employment Centres the figures speak for themselves. The number of people employed totals 3,221. Over 95 per cent of them have disabilities (3,068), 1,948 of them are women (60.48 per cent) and 1,923 of them are between the ages of 45 and 65 (59.7 per cent).

Sixty-two-year-old Alberto, who is physically disabled, is one of the people who joined Ilunion Facility Services. “This opportunity has been a joy,” he said, “and my heart now beats differently. Ilunion has shown me the way to a better life and I am very grateful for the support the company has given me. This is not just a workplace, it’s a place where we start to find dignity as people again.”

Member of the judging panel and editor of ECJ Michelle Marshall commented: “Through its very real commitment to offer opportunities to those people who may find it difficult or even impossible to gain employment Ilunion is making a vital contribution to Spanish society and literally changing many people’s lives.

“Having established working relationships with various public and private organisations it has a highly impressive range of initiatives for many of society’s disadvantaged groups.”

The 2019 European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards ceremony takes place at the Church Hall, Westminster, London on October 17. For details of how to reserve your place visit


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