As you will know the Irish government has announced Level 5 restrictions nationwide until further notice on January 31st 2021.
These restrictions place additional constraints on service businesses nationwide - with many being forced to close altogether.
Level 5 restrictions for Tradesmen and Tradespeople
On Friday 8th January at 6pm Level 5 restrictions will come into effect for construction and construction services.The government's level 5 restrictions specifically mention construction and development including reference to maintenance and repair work in people's homes.
Under the governments definition of 'Essential Services' the following is has been advised:
- essential health and related projects including those relevant to preventing, limiting, minimising or slowing the spread of COVID-19
- social housing projects, including voids, designated as essential sites by Local Authorities based on set criteria
- housing adaptation grants where the homeowner is agreeable to adaptions being undertaken in their home
- repair, maintenance and construction of critical transport and utility infrastructure
- education facilities sites designated as essential by Department of Education
- supply and delivery of essential or emergency maintenance and repair services to businesses and places of residence (including electrical, gas, plumbing, glazing and roofing services) on an emergency call-out basis
- certain large construction projects in the exporting / FDI sector based on set criteria
- in relation to private homes that are practically complete and scheduled for habitation by 31 January 2021, including where snagging, and essential remediation work, such as pyrite works is nearing completion, works should continue to enable homeowners access their homes. Heating, water, broadband and electricity installation should also continue to enable homes be occupied.
The wording of this statement specifies some trades by name and indicates that they are permitted as 'Essential services' under level 5 restrictions. As such, these trades are allowed to travel to and work in peoples homes.
Based on the above, and subject to any corrections from the government, we interpret that the following trades are deemed essential under level 5 restrictions:
- Domestic construction
- Plumbing services and repairs
- Heating / Boiler servicing, repairs and maintenance
- Insulation & retrofitting specialists
- Window maintenance and repairs
- Tree surgery
When construction projects including the completion of extensions, refurbishments and retrofitting are permitted it is important that homeowner and construction or project supervisor follow Health and Safety Construction Guidelines.
In summary, the domestic trade sector has a number of restrictions under level 5, but many trades could be interpreted as 'Essential' services and continue to work during this period.
With that all said, it is however important for all within the sector to respect the bigger picture - Level 5 restrictions have been introduced to stem the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and as such we all have a role to play. In assessing whether or not your business continues to work during this period we would urge all parties to observe the specific HSE guidelines and only work where safe to do so.
Government statement on essential services under level 5 restrictions here.
HSE Covid-19 Guidance here