Don’t fall foul of the law!

GDPR; minimum wage; insurance – it can be difficult to keep up to date with business essentials, especially in the winter when there’s so much work to keep you busy. Our check list could be a useful place to start.

It can be hard to keep track of changes to legislation and regulations, especially for installers who are moving from job to job, trying to keep their customers warm and happy.  However, it’s essential to stay ahead of the curve and ensure you are always compliant.

• GDPR - General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which was implemented in May 2018 and affects every business throughout the UK. In simple terms, it means that your customers have more control over the information you hold about them and that you have to make sure that the data you hold is stored securely.  Read our article on GDPR for more details.

• Minimum wage - From of April 2019, the minimum wage increased to £3.90 for an apprentice, and £8.21 for those over 25. Other rates vary according to an employee’s age so it’s important that you keep up to date with any increases year on year. You can find more details about the different rates here.

• Insurance - Many plumbing jobs come off the back of home insurance claims, but is your own livelihood properly insured?  Although not a legal requirement, public liability insurance offers you protection if a customer is injured or their property is damaged. Weighty compensation claims can often include repair and replacement costs, as well as medical fees and loss of income.  Some clients may even require proof of cover, so it makes sense to invest in public liability insurance to avoid all risks and exceed their expectations. 

If you want to expand your team, you need to take out employee liability insurance when employing anyone who isn’t a family member. This isn’t just a ‘nice to have’, it’s the law.  It means your business is protected against mishaps on the job that result in employee injury or a work-related illness.  

Cover needs to start at £5 million minimum, and failure to take out the correct policy could leave you in danger of being fined up to £2,500 a day – it goes without saying that this could have a major financial impact.  Trade bodies such as APHC offer insurance packages tailored for plumbing and heating professionals, like you.  Find out more here

Even during the busiest time of year, it’s important to keep an eye on any legislative updates that could have an effect on your business. Following simple steps and staying abreast of any planned changes will keep you in good stead so you can focus on keeping your customers happy, without getting caught out on the technicalities of running a business.