Many tradespeople are self-employed and have been hit hard by the lockdown. But the good news is that they can still provide their services to customers, as long as you all follow the rules.
The rules around lockdown are not always clear, but it has become apparent that original government guidance on tradespeople working in people’s homes does allow plumbers, electricians and so on to continue to work.
The guidance states that essential repairs and maintenance can still be done in private homes, as long as the household isn’t shielding, and neither they nor the tradesperson, is displaying any symptoms of Coronavirus. Social distancing rules and hygiene practices must be observed. For example:
- You should stay away from the area where they are working, and they must practise good hygiene by washing their hands regularly or using sanitiser.
- After the tradesperson has left your property, you should disinfect the area where they worked as a precaution.
- Payment should be contactless – it’s safer to pay by card than cash.
If your household is isolating or shielding, but you need some emergency work, a tradesperson can help – but you or they need to contact Public Health for advice.
Unfortunately, new work is not yet covered. So, for example, you could ask your builder to finish installing your half-finished kitchen, as that would be considered essential, but they would not be allowed to start a new installation.
You can, however, still look for tradespeople to start a new job once lockdown finishes – so you could conduct a Zoom call with a builder to discuss your new extension, showing them the potential site.
Other service providers such as gardeners and window cleaners, who can provide services without entering the home, are allowed to continue, as long as they observe the rules.
Access full guidance about tradespeople working during the COVID-19 on the government site.
On 27 April, the government launched a new Bounce Back Loan scheme for small businesses available from 9am Monday 4 May. Businesses will be able to apply for a loan for 25% of their turnover up to a maximum of £50,000. The Government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee and will pay any fees and interest for the first 12 months. Loan applications will involve a simple form and businesses are expected to receive loan payments promptly following approval. FMB.org.uk.
Look out for our DIY feature in the Summer issue of Tring Living and Berkhamsted Living magazines, in distribution week commencing 1 June 2020.