As the coronavirus pandemic continues, I’d like to provide an update to all our Which? Trusted Traders, as well as the general public.
To start with I’d like to echo our CEO, Anabel Hoult, in hoping that you’re all keeping well and safe during the situation we find ourselves in.
It’s vital that we all continue to follow the government’s advice, and tradespeople are no different.
However, there are some jobs that will always have to be done, and that’s why the current government advice for tradespeople is that work carried out in people’s homes can continue.
To be clear, this is only as long as they are healthy and don’t have any symptoms of coronavirus. They must still follow social distancing rules.
“No work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded, unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household, such as emergency plumbing or repairs, and where the tradesperson is willing to do so” – UK government
A trader should not work in people’s homes if they have coronavirus, unless they need urgent or essential repairs or maintenance, for example if the home has no hot water.
Advice is available from Public Health England about how to do this safely.
I’d also like to add that, while this is the official government advice, tradespeople are of course welcome to assess each of their situations differently, and make their own call on whether they would like to go further by stopping home visits and working from home where possible.
Support for the self employed
On 26 March, Rishi Sunak announced the self-employed income support scheme.
This means that the self employed will be able to claim a taxable grant of up to 80% of their average monthly earnings, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
This will be open to anyone with trading profits up to £50,000 a year and will be based on tax returns over the past three years.
If you’ve been self-employed for less than three years, an average will be taken from the tax returns you’ve submitted up to 31 January 2020.
We’ve explained this fully in our news story here.
Assisting our traders
We know this is a difficult time for everyone, so we’d like to reiterate that all our traders have access to both a business legal advice line, as well as a wellness helpline.
The advice line is able to help with queries such as employment law, supplier contract negotiations, general legal advice and tax laws that may affect you.
Our wellness helpline can also be accessed by a trader’s family members to assist with any aspect of a trader and their family’s mental health. If you’re a Which? Trusted Trader and don’t yet have access, please contact your account manager.
Which? will continue to be providing as much information as possible during the pandemic, and I’m proud to have seen the launch of our dedicated hub, which brings all that advice together in one place.
I hope you all stay safe and well. If you need our support, we’re always available through our official channels. If you’re one of our traders and would like to be put in touch directly with your account manager, please let us know on:
Phone: 0117 456 6032