Installers face job cancellations due to test and trace ‘pingdemic’

Whilst the survey was carried out by The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI), reports suggest that the disruption is widespread, affecting skilled tradespeople across many sectors and costing installers millions of pounds.

In the renewables sector it risks disruption for customers, with lead times for jobs already longer due to a shortage of skilled installers in some areas.

To alleviate the problems there are calls for the Government to exempt skilled tradespeople, who are operating safe working procedures in people’s homes, from having to isolate automatically if they or their customers are ‘pinged’ by the app. Given that many installers have already implemented robust safe working procedures to enable them to carry out jobs in homes throughout the pandemic, it would seem a sensible solution to add them to the list of excepted workers.

An unacceptable financial impact

Damian Walters, BiKBBI CEO, said: “Installers are taking a hit on their incomes that’s as unnecessary as it is unfair. They’ve spent the last year working to incredibly safe procedures, meaning that they could continue serving customers throughout the pandemic. For at least half of them to now have to stop working – and earning – as the rest of the country recovers just seems utterly ridiculous.”

“The disruption for customers is also a real kick in the teeth for people who want to invest in their homes after such a tough time and could create a crisis for the industry. Jobs won’t be able to be rescheduled for many months, creating the risk of a wave of cancellations.”

“Public safety and keeping the virus under control of course needs to be the highest priority, which is why KBB installers introduced robust safe working procedures over the last year. Recognising this by adding them to the list of workers exempt from automatic isolation would be an incredibly sensible thing for the government to do.”

Have you had to cancel or had a job cancelled due to the app? Let us know: