Update from the TSA Chief Executive - 13th May 2020


13 May 2020

Dear All,

This is update number eight! Never even thought of numbering them when we started way back in March! We are starting to get into a bit of a routine around the lobbying, write a letter, get a standard reply, write another letter. However, we know of at least 10 UK laundries who have now got hospitality status, so it is slowly working. The key task this week was to start preparing the re-opening/operating advice document and Shyju and the team are making great progress. We have also received good news on the furlough scheme. It’s going to be a tough summer but if we continue to all work together and support each other we will come out the other side.


As mentioned in the introduction it was announced yesterday the scheme has been extended to October and from August you will be able to bring furloughed employees back part-time. Once more information is released, we shall review what the government meant by companies to "start sharing" the cost of the scheme from August and how this will affect laundries in the ramp up. 


Hospitality Grant

We are delighted that the number of companies acknowledged as part of the hospitality sector has increased even further. Please see the table below including all the companies and the council/region who have approved their status:

This information may prove to be helpful in your discussion to overrule an application which has not been successful.

Whilst we have had some pockets of success, (we estimate the above to be worth at least £500K) we are getting some councils pushing back. This is a great concern to us, therefore, our focus this week is to build on the momentum of companies who have been accepted and lobby further. If you encounter a push back from your council please let Emma know and we shall do our upmost to assist.

TSA Template Hospitality Grant Letter

We have also sent another open letter to the powers that be, again emphasising why laundries should be included on the list, so we do not all have to waste time on the local lobbying efforts. UK hospitality have also supported our campaign which may add some weight. We have sent the letter to all the MPs you have informed us of but please feel free to send again as I do not think we can lobby too much!

DMU Project

We can confirm that DMU has now received the virus and the samples of fabrics to commence the research for the Covid-19 Addendum project. As this project has increased the interest from other European trade associations, we have received our first confirmations this week from the German and Finnish associations that they would like to be funding partners. This is great news as it will help with the credibility of the message when used for lobbying in the future and we are optimistic that other associations will follow suit. It also reduces some of the project cost for the TSA.

Reusable Gowns

The Reusable Gown Project Brief was prepared and sent to the cabinet office on Saturday which included the following:

•            Work to date

•            The numbers in more detail

•            Project management proposal

•            The requirements

•            Design and Specification

•            Procurement Routing

•            Laundry and Distribution

•            Re-purposing hospitality laundries to process healthcare work

•            End user acceptability

•            Commercials and Framework agreement


We have had a response that the Cabinet Office are preparing a strategy document, but it is an incredible slow and frustrating process. We have started to escalate our frustrations to various senior players so hopefully we will start to see some momentum in the coming days.

We shall keep you up to date with any progressed made with regards to this project going forward.


As we are waiting on the green light for the reusable gowns project this is still on hold. However, we shall share some guidance on processing healthcare products in a hospitality laundry, but this work will start after we have produced the re-opening guidance.


Many laundries will be thinking of practical ways on how to reopen ensuring you are compliant with all government guidelines and being able to demonstrate this with confidence to your staff and customers. The TSA would like to support you in this process and have put together an experienced team to form a working group (WG) to develop a ‘good practice guide’ for reopening hospitality laundries. In its first meeting, the group agreed it must be a simple, practical, and an effective guide to help the implementation process. The WG is aiming for a final draft followed by a presentation of the document toward the end of next week. We will keep you updated on the progress.


We will be hosting a webinar presentation of our re-opening hospitality laundries good practice guide. More information to follow next week and we are looking to host the presentation on Tuesday 26th May.


As mentioned previously we have been collecting information from our supply chain on the availability of face masks. We have also put together a simple guide to help you decide on the appropriate masks for your needs:

*This has now been removed as we initially thought there would be a shortage of masks, but this has not proven to be the case and therefore we have moved away from updating information on the supply situation. However, if you wish to find a supply partner who supply COVID Secure products, please visit our member directory. If you are a supply partner please check the member directory that your company is included if this is a service you provide. If it is not, please log on to our website and update accordingly. If you require any assistance, please do not hesitate to email Emma

We are also seeing various companies offering a re-washable face mask and it may be a good market opportunity for you to consider developing this offer into a rental service or a COG offer with a laundry service. We understand there may also be a potential to brand the masks with your company logo for rental service or on a direct sell with a large client.

Additionally, we can confirm the TSA has been invited to be part of the CBI’s PPE working group panel.


After a detailed review of the document we have agreed to update all the numbers, not just the industry ones. Effectively it will now be fully republished, and it will also include a COVID Appendix. It was felt with the current level of lobbying we needed the document to be current and factually correct. This has pushed back its publication to next week, but I think will be a much more useful and credible document.


We are continuing to work with UK Hospitality, and we will be issuing new guidelines on handling linen early next week. We have also started to look into the care home market to see if we can open a dialogue with the care home and nursing homes trade associations about our industry servicing the care homes, nursing homes and primary care facilities. We will be contacting the following this week:


These are the results of the recent 2nd TSA Business Pulse Survey which we closed last week. You can see the results of both surveys on the two links below but here are a few “highlights”:

•            The number of singles sites who completed the survey remains basically the same in both, but the number of groups has increased in the second survey, so it now represents 171 sites which is well up on the first survey.

•            Unsurprisingly the revenue trend for the previous 30 days has slightly worsened with now 50% stating “well below expectations” which was 45% and a slight reduction in “no revenue” from 37% to now 32%.

•            Revenue expectations for the next 30 days is similar to previous survey except a drop in “no revenue” from 35% to 26% and “over the next 60 days” from 24% to 17% which is encouraging.

•            Probably the most worrying is the answers to when to you expect business to return to pre Covid-19 revenue levels and in the first survey 21% estimated “24 months”, this is now 50% and “within 6 months” has dropped from 27% to now zero.

•            The number of respondents who have furloughed staff has increased from 91% to 97% with a reduction in the number of companies who have delayed capital projects reducing from 59% to 47%.

•            With regard to what action people are taking over the next 30 days there is now more clarity and certainty with more companies expecting to continue to furlough staff, reducing delivery days and reduced production hours.

•            Not surprising those companies topping up Furlough pay has reduced from 18% to 8% with a further 2% stating they are unlikely to continue with the top up. Those paying above the salary cap has equally reduced from 32% to 23% with a further 2% stating they are unlikely to continue with this.

•            Those who have received Government support has improved – previously 45% had received no support this is now 35% which is positive but nowhere near the level we should be at and will continue to lobby to get more support.

•            With regard to supply chain issues the major shortages are still around PPE for staff and Antiseptic Soap – both of these issues increased in the May survey.

The Latest Report

The First Report

We have also been asked to conduct a global survey for ITSA (International Textile Services Alliance) which we shall send out next week. Sincere apologies as some of the questions will be replicated from our own Business Pulse Survey but luckily there are only six key questions in total and therefore it should not take too long to complete. All questions are identically for all countries taking part and the results will help us with future global lobbying and PR.


We will be hosting our third set of webinars next week on Thursday 21st May. This is really an opportunity for a Q&A and allows the smaller laundries to share their concerns. We have reduced the time to 45 minutes as we will be covering specific topics like the re-opening guidelines in more structured webinar presentations.

If you wish to register, please may you email Emma with the following:

1. Any new key concerns you may have

2. Which region’s web conference you would like to join:

Midlands: 9am-9.45am

North: 11am-11.45am

South: 2pm-2.45pm


We are aware that networking and activity between laundries may already be taking place as it is difficult to re-open to service small volumes and a small number of customers. Therefore, we have taken legal advice as there is an important aspect that needs to be considered from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). To ensure you stay compliant we strongly recommend you review the guidance document we have received from a lawyer which provides clear high-level guidance of what is allowed and what is not from a legal viewpoint.

CMA Guidance Document


If you have not already done so, and if you are part of the current CCA scheme or considering joining, please respond to our survey as soon as possible:

CCA Survey

This will help us to gather evidence and identify the target we should agree for the new scheme on behalf of the laundry industry.

If you have any queries or would like to join the scheme, please do not hesitate to contact Shyju. 

Remember to keep it up to date during the ramp up by emailing Emma if you need to add anyone or join it. 

TSA Website
TSA website is full of relevant information and resources for the laundry industry. Some links below:

Open Letters
First Open Letter from the Chief Executive, TSA – 19th March 2020
Second Open Letter from the Chief Executive, TSA – 25th March 2020
Third Open Letter from the Chief Executive, TSA – 15th April 2020
Chief Executive Updates
First Press Release on Covid-19
TSA Chief Executive Update – 23rd March
TSA Chief Executive Update – 25th March
TSA Chief Executive Update – 31st March
TSA Chief Executive Update – 7th April
TSA Chief Executive Update – 17th April
TSA Chief Executive Update – 29th April
TSA Chief Executive Update – 6th May
Technical Resources
Managing Risks Related to Covid-19 (Hospitality, Healthcare, Workwear, Cabinet Roller Towels)
Guidance: Plant Preservation during Laundry Closure
Textile Services Cost Index (Laundry Cost Index)
Events Update
Please see our website for more information but no changes have been made since our last CEO update.
Feel free to phone any of the team if you want to discuss anything (Emma - 0754 322 0302, Shyju - 0754 322 0303).  In the meantime, keep safe and we will keep working for you.

The more we can communicate the plight of the laundry sector the better.

Best regards,

David Stevens

Textile Services Association
Spaces | The Bower
4 Roundwood Avenue
Stockley Park
London UB11 1AF
T: +44 (0)20 3151 5600
W: www.tsa-uk.org

Championing the Textile Services Industry
The Textile Services Association. Registered in United Kingdom Reg. No. 169160. VAT Reg. No. 398 6956 63 | The TSA’s logo is a registered UK Trade Mark no. 3307134.



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