Home >Cleaners to receive the biggest tips this Christmas, research says

Cleaners to receive the biggest tips this Christmas, research says

12 December 2019

New research from Direct Line for Business reveals domestic service workers are set for a Christmas bonus bonanza this year. Generous Brits are planning to give out £461 million in bonuses to service providers including cleaners, window cleaners and refuse collectors.

Cleaners are set for the biggest individual windfalls, with those who employ a cleaner planning to tip them just over £12 this Christmas. This is 47 per cent more than the amount Brits plan to tip refuse collectors (£8.18) and 53 per cent more than the amount planned for newspaper deliverers (£7.83). 

Online delivery drivers (£6.74) are set to earn the least amount in bonuses this Christmas, although as with the increase in internet shopping and home deliveries they still look to be collectively receiving gifts totalling £56 million.

Those in the 25-34 age range seem to be the most generous, estimating they will give £17.77 as a bonus while those over 65 expect to tip £7.74. 

Table one: Amount given in Christmas bonuses to domestic service providers

Service provider

Estimated number of people who will give this service provider a bonus

Average predicted bonus amount

Total bonus amount





Window cleaner




Postal worker




Refuse collector




Online delivery driver




Newspaper delivery person




The research was conducted by Consumer Intelligence among a nationally representative sample of 1,064 adults.

Brits have long relationships with their cleaners, which likely explains why they are set to receive the highest value tips this Christmas. The average length of time people have employed a cleaner for is just over three years (2019 research by Opinium), although one in nine (11 per cent) have had a working relationship with their cleaner for over 10 years, suggesting this is a relationship which is highly valued. 

Nandita Borkakoti, business manager for tradesperson, Direct Line for Business said: “Our research shows just how much we value those who help us at home, whether it’s by cleaning our property, collecting our rubbish or delivering our mail. Christmas is a time of generosity and it’s great to see how many of us plan to extend that goodwill to our domestic service providers as well as our friends and family.”

The Christmas bonus bonanza for the domestic service sector is a consequence of how many people use these services. Across the country, some four million people pay for cleaners to help in their home, while around 11 million pay for window cleaners. This demand is reflected in the importance of the cleaning industry to the UK economy, valued at £50bn and employing over 900,000 people, according to figures from the British Cleaning Council.

Cleaners are employed on a near weekly basis, visiting homes an average of 46 times a year, compared to window cleaners’ 17 times. Brits estimate that they spend around £17 on the average visit from a cleaner, compared to £14 for a visit from a window cleaner. This works out as an average monthly cost of a cleaner to be around £67, with men spending around a third more than women per month (£76 vs £56).