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Handymen and registration and licensing of trades

January 08, 2020

The current law in Victoria allows for handymen carrying out building works on homes to not need registration as a registered builder if the contract price for their work is less than $10,000.  A handyman is also exempt from the need for registration, regardless of contract price, if they are carrying out a so called single trade such as painting, plastering, wall or floor tiling, insulating, glazing and attaching external fixtures such as screens and awnings.  The practical effect of these laws is that trades and workers carrying out smaller and less structurally significant building work do not need to have a government approval to be in business or be employed.

The Victorian government late last year released more information about the trades that will require registration and licensing.  This information indicates that a wide variety of trades will eventually be regulated with workers required to be registered or hold a licence to be employed.  This includes the so called single trades such as plastering, painting, wall and floor tiling and glazing.  Work carried out by handymen, including carpentry, would also be regulated.

The intent of the legislation is to require trades working for builders to be regulated.  For this intent to be achieved by the government it will be necessary for trades working directly for consumers to also be regulated.  Otherwise the easy way out for trades is to work directly for consumers.  This means that a likely outcome of the registration and licensing of trades is the abolition of the single trade exemption and the handymen exemption.  If you currently do not need registration as a builder to carry out your building business you need to monitor this reform.  For example, painters are scheduled to be covered by the registration and licensing of trades from 2022 so it is possible that all painters will start needing registration or a licence from this date.

For further information, please contact HIA Workplace Services on 1300 650 620.