Hiring a tradesperson during the COVID-19 lockdown

07 Apr 2020

If you have concerns about whether to hire a tradesperson during the coronavirus lockdown, Hoppy is here to help. Our guide lets you know what work can still safely be undertaken; as well as addressing any concerns tradespeople may have about accepting bookings. The good news is that with a bit of preparation most jobs can still go ahead safely at this time. Read ahead for further guidance.

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What work can tradespeople do during the Coronavirus lockdown?

The directive by the government to help stem the flow of the virus have now left many of us stuck in homes that need or have work planned for the near future. Naturally, many homeowners may be stuck in a state of confusion and anxiety. Hoppy is here to help with our partners Rated People, we have released some advice and guidelines for homeowners and tradespeople on what work can be done and how to be safe doing it.

What work can be done?

Tradespeople can continue to carry out work in homes if the residents are not self-isolating. This means that all residents of the household must be displaying no symptoms of the virus before a tradesperson can  enter. Additionally, the worker should continue to remain at least 2 meters apart from the residents of the household.

In Scotland however, the laws are stricter. All building sites have been advised to close with only essential and emergency work being asked to continue. However, tradespeople who provide community services such as gardeners and window cleaners who work alone are able to continue their work. All tradespeople must also adhere to the 2-meter distancing from all residents and other colleagues.

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What if I have work planned soon?

If you have not booked a tradesperson yet, there are ways to minimise your exposure to other people by using video calls to enquire about work that needs to be done virtually. Tradespeople have expressed that they are happy to provide an accurate quote using photos and video calls so ensure to provide as much detail as possible so that the tradesperson can provide the most accurate quote.

If work has already begun, don’t be afraid to contact your tradesperson and ask if they are still comfortable carrying on with the job. Keep in contact with them and update them if anyone in the house develops symptoms. It is unsafe for someone to carry out work and could put their lives at risk if you do not tell your contractor if anyone in the house is displaying symptoms. If you are unsure about allowing someone into the house during this period, be honest with your tradesperson and try and rearrange the work for a later date.

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I am a tradesperson who needs to continue working, how do I keep myself and my client’s safe?

For tradespeople who are continuing to work it can be concerning entering other homes on a day to day basis. There are however ways you can keep yourself safe during this crisis. Make sure you bring four essential items to the job, tissues, a black sack to collect any potentially contaminated objects such as used tissues, hand sanitizer and your own water bottle or thermos. Do not accept tea, coffee or water out of the homeowner’s mug or glass. Wash your hands regularly with hot soapy water and if you have access to it, wear protective clothing designed to inhibit the spread of viruses.

To protect your clients, make sure you ask them what you can do whilst working to keep them safe. If they have pre-existing health conditions, they may ask you to limit your time in the house or to drastically change your activity when taking on a job. Try to limit the number of deliveries to the homeowner’s place by buying in bulk and from one supplier or arrange for deliveries to take place at your home. Make sure to disinfect door handles and other objects you have touched once the job to ensure any germs are not left over. Practice social distancing and ensure that you stay at home if you have any symptoms that may be Coronavirus.

I’m worried about my business, is there any help I can receive?

Tradespeople who run their own business will of course be concerned about the impact of a lockdown on their business. Whilst it is still feasible for businesses to continue running, the government has outlined several measures to keep business going during this difficult period. Tradespeople will have access to:

  • Cash grants
  • Business interruption loans
  • Sick pay refunds
  • Time to pay service
  • Job retention scheme
  • Self-employment income support

Different businesses and employees will be eligible for certain schemes so check Rated People’s useful guide for more information and ways to apply for all levels of support.

We know that some work can’t wait and that many tradespeople and consumers may be weary of entering or having someone enter their home. That’s why Hoppy are here to help, for more information on money worries You may find further help on our Money Saving Checklist or Your money questions answered pages. Follow Hoppy on social media to keep up with all the latest developments.

 

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