Can I call a tradie to do a home improvement job during coronavirus?

ON THE JOB: Builder and owner of Tailored Construction Group Jonathan Hayes said government measures do not stop a tradie from doing their job.
ON THE JOB: Builder and owner of Tailored Construction Group Jonathan Hayes said government measures do not stop a tradie from doing their job.

Got a job that needs doing around the house? Toilet blocked, pipe broken or fuse blown - you can still call a tradie.

Tradies are not on the federal government's COVID-19 restricted services list and those in the industry are urging homeowners to just get the job done.

Gardener and owner of Sydney-based General Lawns and Landscapes, John McMillan, said COVID-19 was definitely impacting business.

"Across the industry, there have been less job requests as the coronavirus crisis has escalated and for most trade businesses, the decline in jobs will affect revenue," Mr McMillan said.

"Personally, we have experienced a spike in smaller garden maintenance jobs.

"Requests to scope our larger jobs are still incoming, however, there seems to be uncertainty from many clients on commencement dates."

Mr McMillan said the federal government's stimulus package should provide a boost, particularly when many tradies are sole traders and/or have apprentices.

"It will be a huge help to our community over the coming months."

DECREASE: General Lawns and Landscapes' John McMillan said there have been fewer job requests as a result of COVID-19.

DECREASE: General Lawns and Landscapes' John McMillan said there have been fewer job requests as a result of COVID-19.

Like any business or industry, Mr McMillan said tradies are adopting extra safety measures to handle the COVID-19 crisis.

"A good way to protect yourself as a tradie is also to limit the time spent with clients. Utilising technology to interact via phone, text, email or other - a customer can easily show you around their home and garden via screen and video.

"It's also best to utilise contactless payment options including the payment function of the hipages app."

Builder and owner of Tailored Construction Group, Jonathan Hayes, stressed measures announced by the federal government do not affect the hiring of a tradie.

"Tradies have not yet been added to the restricted services list announced by the government," Mr Hayes said.

He said it was paramount that tradies were added to the list of essential services during the coronavirus crisis.

It is important, Mr Hayes said, that they can continue to help homeowners fix unexpected emergency jobs and conduct work that can only be completed by a qualified professional - especially electrical works and plumbing.

Tradies also offer a vital service in helping people who are not able to DIY including older Australians and the disabled.

The industry is, like any other, adhering to new ways of working.

"Tradies are well aware and up to date on what needs to be happening to ensure a safe workplace, following all health protocols regularly updated by the federal and state government," Mr Hayes said.

"If you are home bound for the next while, it is a perfect time to get some of those home maintenance items out of the way.

"Tradies will ask about exposure and risk before working in your home as per the guidelines within their state, so they are able to manage the job to ensure a safe workplace.

"These include following the social distancing guidelines and practicing good hand hygiene."

Supporting the trade industry is vital.

"The Australian trade industry is a significant economic driver with the residential trade sector alone contributing to almost six per cent of the nation's GDP," Mr Hayes said.

"If all building and construction activity was to be put on hold, this would have huge knock-on effects to other industries including retail.

"If buildings aren't complete, new homeowners aren't able to move in, which means they aren't shopping for new furniture or white goods, hiring removalists or connecting to local power and energy companies, impacting these businesses also."

The website hipages, an online services directory that connects Australian consumers to local businesses in the home improvement trade industry, is featuring coronavirus safety information and tips for both homeowners and tradies.

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This story Got a job that needs doing in the home? You can still call a tradie first appeared on The Canberra Times.