With various lockdown measures being implemented across the UK, we wanted to update you on the current situation for tradespeople working in other people’s homes.
The guidance varies by region, please ensure you adhere to the guidance provided for the area in which you work. For England and Wales tradespeople are permitted to continue working provided COVID-19 Secure protocols are in place.
Guidance for England
Latest guidance for the England lockdown states “where it is necessary for you to work in other people’s homes – for example, for nannies, cleaners or tradespeople – you can do so.” Click here for further details on the latest lockdown guidance.
For England, the government has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. These 8 guides cover a range of different types of work. The guidance documents set out guidance on how to work safely. It gives practical considerations of how this can be applied in the workplace. Each business will need to translate this into the specific actions it needs to take, depending on the nature of their business, including the size and type of business, how it is organised, operated, managed and regulated. Government has confirmed that non-essential work can be carried out where it can be undertaken safely. Tradespeople should follow the guidance for working in people’s homes, including undertaking a risk assessment and making every reasonable effort to comply with the social distancing guidelines. No work should be carried out in a household which is isolating because one or more family members has symptoms or where an individual has been advised to shield – unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household.
Businesses and venues which must close
To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. The full list of businesses required to close can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but includes:
- non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services.
Businesses and venues which can remain open
Other businesses and venues are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 secure guidelines. Businesses providing essential goods and services can stay open. The full list of these businesses can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but includes:
- essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences
Guidance for Wales
Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople, can continue as long as it is managed in a safe way and both the worker and household members are well and have no symptoms of coronavirus. However, we recommend that people consider whether the work can be safely deferred until they are no longer in Level 4.
Like other businesses, people working in someone else’s home must take all reasonable measures to ensure to mitigate the risk of coronavirus spreading when working in other people’s households. Please see the guidance on reasonable measures and on working in other people’s homes for more information.
The Welsh government has provided guidance for tradespeople on working in other people’s home during the current lockdown, intended to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures.
Additionally, the business alert level provides guidance for retail premises. View the guidance here.
Guidance for Scotland
For Scotland, tradespeople should only go into a house to carry out or deliver essential work or services, for example:
- to carry out utility (electricity, gas, water, telephone, broadband) safety checks, repairs, maintenance and installations
- to carry out repairs and maintenance that would otherwise threaten the household’s health and safety
- to deliver goods or shopping, where essential
- to deliver, install or repair key household furniture and appliances such as washing machines, fridges and cookers
- to support a home move, for example furniture removal
Safety when working in someone else’s home
When carrying out essential work in someone’s house, tradespeople should stay 2 metres apart from the people who live there, wear a face covering and follow good hand and respiratory hygiene.
Detailed guidance is available here.
Guidance for Northern Ireland
Unless they are specifically required to close under the regulations, workers, builders, tradespeople and other professionals can continue to go into people’s houses to carry out work such as repairs, installations and deliveries.
Closure of all retail businesses except for essential retail.
Click/phone and collect facilities will not be permitted for non-essential retail businesses, however delivery is allowed.
Retail premises can only remain open if the business is wholly or mainly an essential retail business. Where an essential retail business has another, separate business embedded within it that is required to close, the embedded business must close.
An essential retail business may also continue to sell goods typically sold by non-essential retail businesses. For example, a supermarket that sells food is not required to close off or cordon off aisles selling accessories.
Essential retail businesses include, but are not limited to:
- food retailers, supermarkets, convenience stores, off licences and newsagents
- pharmacies and chemists
- fuel suppliers
- building supplies and hardware stores (equipment for building maintenance and repairs – such as keys, locks, nuts, screws, washers, hinges, latches, handles, wire, chains, belts, plumbing supplies, electrical supplies, tools, and machine parts)
- bicycle shops
- agricultural supplies shops and livestock markets
- motor vehicle repair shops
- banks, building societies and credit unions
- post offices
- funeral directors
- laundrettes and dry cleaners
- dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services
- veterinary surgeons, dog groomers and pet shops
The full list of businesses that are permitted to remain open is defined in the regulations (external link opens in a new window / tab) .
Guidance can be viewed here.