Following Government guidance about the current COVID-19 situation, the Prime Minister has announced everyone must stay at home and only to go outside for food, health reasons or “essential work”.
However, it has left tradespeople confused about what constitutes “essential work”.
CEO of the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) Damian Walters commented: ” Although the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation is in no place to interpret what ‘essential work’ actually means without cast iron clarification from the government, our view is this: It is essential, especially where we are being told to stay at home, that households have functioning services.”
He listed heat, light, power, drinking water, washing facilities, cooking facilities and an environment without health & safety risk work as being essential.
However, he continued this would not involve the aesthetic completion of a project, such as tiling or decorating.
Damian Walters added: “We have a duty of care over the consumers we serve to ensure that these basic services are present, as without them it is almost certain that additional suffering may occur.”
The association is advising if unfinished work is essential, tradespeople should follow government advice on social distancing.
Walters added: “We advise our members to contact customers on a daily basis, before entering their property, to confirm that: no one in the property has been positively tested for COVID-19; no one in the property is self-isolating; and no one is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.”
He said tradespeople should limit contact with their customers, request to be left alone to complete essential work and retain a 2m (6ft) social distancing in the home
In addition, the BiKBBI advises if tradespeople need to speak to customers use the phone and request they do not make physical contact / respect the 2m social distancing.
It also points out if any tradesperson or their team are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, they should self-isolate in accordance with NHS guidance.
The BiKBBI has already warned the PM of the pressure added to the home improvement industry following the announcement of its points-based skills labour program.