If you are having some work done on your house, or refurbishing your business premises, then you are most likely on the hunt for some contractors – whether it be a plumber, electrician or scaffolders – it is your duty to ensure that you make a safe, legal and educated decision before you hire.
There are a lot of steps to take before work can begin, and we’ve broken down the 10 most important (in our opinion) things you should do when hiring a contractor in any field.
Nowadays you probably wouldn’t book a hotel or a table at a restaurant until you have read the reviews. This should be no different when hiring a subcontractor.
You should always ask for referrals so that you can contact previous employers and get an idea of whether this is the right person for the job. Most contractors have reviews and recommendations listed on their site to make it a little easier for you.
As any employer would do before hiring a worker, you should always make sure they are suitable for the job. This means asking for evidence of any qualifications and accreditation, photos of previous work (if relevant) and anything else you can get your hands on.
You need to build up an idea of this persons’ experience and ability to complete the work to your standard.
Another major enquiry you should make before hiring a subcontractor is whether they have the appropriate licences to carry out the work e.g. gas safe registration.
You could find yourself in a lot of trouble if you don’t do your due diligence with these background checks.
Don’t just go for the first decent subcontractor that comes along.
It is always good practice to meet with a handful of people so that you don’t miss out on any more affordable and better options for your business.
One of the most important things you can do for your pockets is make sure that your subcontractor is insured.
If not, the cost of your insurance could rise drastically so it is a question that could cost you dearly if not addressed.
As part of any thorough background check, you should always ask for ID and proof of right to work in the UK. This could simply be a photocopied passport or full birth certificate. Remember, it is illegal to employ someone who doesn’t have their documentation in place.
You should always ask your contractor if they have a Health and Safety Policy in place (only if they have five or more employees) because it is another legal requirement.
The Health and Safety Policy outlines their commitment to managing health and safety in the workplace, who is responsible for what, and what precautions are going to be put in place to minimise risk.
It is your duty to ensure that all contractors have a site induction including access to risk assessment documents and an understanding of where your emergency assembly point is.
If they are carrying out a small, domestic job directly for you – the homeowner – then you should ensure that they have access to a first aid kit, an exit and anything else needed to ensure their safety especially if being left unmonitored.
Maybe there is a smaller job that you can line up for them before committing to something more extensive or important.
This will enable you to monitor and review their work first-hand before making a final decision.
A written contract is the best protection you can put in place when employing anyone. This is clear documented evidence (so long as both you and the subcontractor have signed it) that the terms and agreement in place has been read, understood and accepted by the subcontractor.
This ensures that they are fully aware of what is expected of them and avoids any potential claims or grievances further down the line.
If you would like a quote for our scaffolding services and fully qualified scaffolding contractors, then please call us today on 0121 348 7810