United Kingdom
Location of affected unit(s)
Catford (London) Lowestoft, (East of England), Nottingham (East Midlands)
Administrative Services
Services To Buildings And Landscape Activities
Cleaning Activities
81.2 - Cleaning activities

1,700 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
25 January 2006
Employment effect (start)
Foreseen end date


Rentokil Initial is closing its loss-making workwear and linen operations at Initial Hygiene UK with the loss of up to 1,700 jobs. The business services company said the division had suffered from a significant lack of investment and a 'flawed commercial strategy'. The business employs about 2,000 staff across the country. Operations will shut down on 30 April 2006 so Initial Hygiene can focus on its washroom and dust mat business.

Rentokil is in the middle of a major restructuring that saw it sell off its conference venues business for £325 million in November 2005.'Today's announcement does not impact our linen and workwear operations in continental Europe, where we have built up a number of profitable and growing businesses,' said chief executive Doug Flynn. The biggest regional operation hit will be in Catford, south London, where Initial Hygiene employs 221 workers. Other sites facing closure are in Lowestoft, Suffolk and Nottingham. Following that, the company announced plans to freeze its final salary pension scheme and close it to its existing members, in a bid to rein in rising pension costs. This was the first such move by a FTSE 100 company.


  • 26 January 2006: The Guardian
  • 25 January 2006: BBC News


Eurofound (2006), Rentokil Initial, Closure in United Kingdom, factsheet number 62824, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/62824.