What are the rules if you need a tradie?

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Your wifi is down and you can’t hit that work deadline from home without internet access. Your plumbing is bung and a leak is making confinement a wet chaos. But across the country, there are strict coronavirus rules. Can you get a tradie over to fix your damaged self-isolated world?

The answer, thankfully, is yes.

Tradespeople are still allowed to visit your property to perform essential work, despite strict social distancing protocols.

In Victoria, where state of emergency provisions ban social visitors, Department of Health and Human Services directions state: “You shouldn’t let anyone outside your immediate household group come into your home, unless you really need help – and it can only be done in person”.

‘Critical work’ is allowed, though householders are urged to minimise physical contact by not paying with cash and keeping their (1.5 metre) distance from the worker.

Such clarifications are so common that figures such as Victoria’s chief health officer, Brett Sutton, have become minor media celebrities, regularly delivering their verdict on issues raised by talkback radio or online forums.

In this instance, Dr Sutton told ABC radio that the rules for tradies – not included in the Department of Health guidelines – are more stringent.

They must check if anyone at the property they are attending has been diagnosed with COVID-19, has been in contact with a case or is in self-quarantine. They must also ask householders to keep away from where they are working and wash their hands regularly or use sanitiser.

Essential building workers are exempt from stage three restrictions under strict provisions. Construction industry protocols listed by the Housing Industry Association run to 35 points and over 700 words, including the necessity for “developing an action plan in consultation with the homeowner regarding site management” and “applying the one person per four square metre rule for building work being undertaken in enclosed or internal spaces”.

The major construction industry is so desperate to keep working that previously sworn enemies, the Master Builders Association and union CFMEU Construction, joined forces to release a joint statement in which they vowed to “work co-operatively” to battle the impact of coronavirus.

Victorian Building Authority best practice guidelines point readers to a detailed a guide on how to clean and disinfect.

Point one of four is: “Wear gloves when cleaning and disinfecting. Gloves should be discarded after each clean. If it is necessary to use reusable gloves, gloves should only be used for COVID-19-related cleaning and disinfection and should not be used for other purposes. Wash reusable gloves with soap and water after use and leave to dry. Clean hands immediately after removing gloves.”

Disinfectant should be applied to surfaces using disposable paper towel or a disposable cloth. If non-disposable cloths are used, workers must ensure they are laundered and dried before reusing.


It’s a tough time to be working for those not stuck at home; be grateful if they come to your house!

If you suspect you or a family member has coronavirus, you should call (not visit) your GP or ring the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

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Written by Will Brodie


Total Comments: 4
  1. 0

    how do u pay a tradie if not with cash ?? dont like giving out card info

  2. 0

    Transfer to his/her bank using Internet and if you do not know how this is a great time to learn how ….. is not that dificult
    Alternative get a bill and you will mail him a cheque or maybe transfer to his account using ATM

  3. 0

    Fair enough! Essential repairs must be addressed, especially if there is ongoing danger to occupants. Here I mention electrical faults as priority 1. Repairs to cracks in plaster walls needing repainting is priority last on the list. It is likely in the market place at the moment, many home handymen will be looking for work, so be wary of bogus quotes and read the fine print. Get quotes in writing before work commences and ensure you get three separate quotes..

    If required, any one can post a query as to what, when and how to approach the home handy man/tradie or registered practitioners. I am currently writing a book on how to analyse the problem and what action to do purely from the homeowner’s/personal point of view.

    To answer Tisme’s question, it’s up to the tradie to furnish account details similar to “B Pay” before the quote can be accepted so that you dictate the terms of a written contract. I recommend you read my book. This can be downloaded soon!

  4. 0

    Thank you for sharing! Some problems we are really able to solve on our own, and contact no one once again. But often there are problems that are difficult to solve yourself, here you can find more useful information on this subject, or just decide that you can not do without a specialist



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