Last updated: 2nd November 2020
Should I be working and going into people’s homes right now?
Your wellbeing and the wellbeing of our homeowners will always be the most important thing to us. We know it’s an uncertain time, but we want to reassure you that we’re following the latest advice and recommendations from the government and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to help keep you safe and well, and keep your business ticking over.
Boris Johnson shared advice from the government on 10th May, including the first steps towards moving the country out of lockdown. Regarding trade work, he said:
“Anyone who can’t work from home, for instance those in construction or manufacturing, should be actively encouraged to go to work. You should avoid public transport if at all possible.”
The government’s advised that tradespeople in England can carry out work in people’s homes during the national lockdown (5th November to 2nd December 2020). This is as long as the tradesperson and anyone in their household is well and has no coronavirus symptoms, and they can stand 2 metres apart from anyone else in your house. They shouldn’t carry out work in any households that are self-isolating, unless the work is to sort a problem which is a direct risk to the safety of the household, like emergency plumbing or repairs, and where the tradesperson is willing to do so.
From Friday 23rd October 2020 in Wales, a firebreak lockdown is starting. So, tradespeople will only be able to carry out work inside other people’s homes if it’s urgent or to repair a fault which poses a direct risk to safety. Unfinished work that was started before the 23rd October cannot be completed after this date, unless it’s urgent or if it would be unsafe to leave the work incomplete. The tradesperson can re-enter your home to make sure that the environment is safe for you, and to collect any belongings that they’ve left, such as tools. Read more about how the firebreak lockdown in Wales affects tradespeople on Gov.wales.
From Friday 16th October 2020, additional COVID-19 regulations have been introduced in Northern Ireland for four weeks. Households aren’t allowed to mix indoors, however there are some exceptions. Tradespeople are allowed to go into people’s homes to carry out work, such as repairs, installations and deliveries.
The Scottish government has confirmed that work can be carried out inside homes, as long as both the tradesperson and the homeowner are well and not showing any coronavirus symptoms, and that nobody inside either household is self-isolating. If the homeowner is self-isolating, then work can only be carried out in their home if it’s to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household, such as emergency plumbing. If you’re in this situation, then you can find more advice on the Health Protection Scotland website.
If you’re working, take extra precautions, such as:
- Don’t meet a homeowner, or your team, or allow work to go ahead, if you have any of the symptoms associated with the virus, like a high temperature, a loss of sense of taste or smell, or a new, continuous cough – even if they seem mild. If anyone in your household has symptoms, stay at home for the appropriate length of time.
- Consider ways to reduce contact, such as sending photos or a video to enable you to quote over the phone. Our Protected Payments service can be useful for you and a homeowner to consider using during this time. It’s digital so you won’t need to meet to receive payment for work, and your money will be protected if a job needs to be put on hold. Read more info.
- Take additional hygiene precautions – wash your hands more regularly, use hand sanitiser when soap and water isn’t available and bring your own drinks if you’re working in someone’s home.
We know that working on a construction site and working in people’s homes are two very different things. You should carry out work as long as you and anyone in your household is well and has no symptoms, and you can stand 2 metres apart from anyone else in the customer’s house. You shouldn’t carry out work in any households that are self-isolating or if an individual is classed as vulnerable and being protected, unless the work is to sort a problem which is a direct risk to the safety of the household, like emergency plumbing or repairs, and where you’re willing to do so. Read the specific government guidelines for working in homes in more detail on Gov.uk.
For onsite workers:
The same advice applies for who should work but if you’re classed as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’, it’s strongly advised that you don’t return to work onsite. If you’re ‘clinically vulnerable’, the government advice is that you should take extra care with social distancing and should be offered the safest available onsite roles where you can stay 2 metres away from others. If this isn’t possible, you and your employer should assess whether the risk is acceptable. See more info in our Coronavirus: Staying safe whilst working on a construction site article.
Note: Countries may approach the different phases of lockdown differently. This guidance is in line with the UK government’s advice and is being followed in England. See the specific government websites for any differences.
Do you have any jobs on the platform right now and what if jobs dry up?
We still have plenty of homeowners looking for tradespeople to do work for them and we’ve even seen demand increase for trades like gardeners, tree surgeons and pest control specialists. Our platform is designed to give you access to leads 24/7 and we’ll continue to make sure you have a stream of new work opportunities coming through, should you want to do them.
We want to support you as much as possible through this challenging time, so we’ve also pulled together information on the latest government support that you may be eligible for, like grants and loans. You can find this information in our Coronavirus: government support for construction businesses article, and we’ll keep it updated.
Can I get a payment holiday?
We want to help tradespeople with any financial concerns that they might have, but rest assured, we still have homeowners on our platform looking to hire tradespeople. If you’ve noticed a big drop in the number of leads for your particular area and trade or you’re unable to work, please email our team at [email protected] for help.
Note: If there’s a lockdown announced in the regional area(s) that you work or live in, in addition to the national lockdown, the government says that you must follow all instructions from the relevant local authority. You can find out which areas currently have special restrictions in place on Gov.uk.
Note: The government has confirmed that there is no limit to the group size when you are meeting or gathering for work. But, workplaces should be set up to meet the COVID-secure guidelines – follow the government’s guidance on how to return to work safely.
For more information on staying safe whilst working, head to our Coronavirus: How to keep safe whilst working article.
For information on government support for businesses, check out our Coronavirus: government support for construction businesses article.