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What’s in store for tradespeople in 2019

What’s
in store for tradespeople in 2019

2019 will be all about Brexit, whatever
the outcome. The construction industry, along with the rest of the UK, is still
awaiting clarity on what the future may hold and what it will mean for tradespeople
and the wider construction industry.

However, besides Brexit, this year a
range of regulatory updates and government-led initiatives are expected to have
an impact on the construction industry, potentially affecting thousands of
tradespeople across the UK.

Building
Regulations and Fire Safety following Grenfell

Following the Grenfell tragedy in June 2017, the Government
launched an independent review into building regulations and fire safety, which
has now resulted in plans to overhaul building regulations.

The
Government has now committed to a programme of reform focused on four key areas
which include: introducing more effective regulations and accountability;
clearer guidance; prioritising residents; and working with the industry to
drive change.

A
“radically-new system” was promised by Communities Secretary James Brokenshire
in response to the tragedy, with the Government also introducing a ban on using combustible cladding
on new high-rise homes. This piece of legislation came in effect in December.

The new implementation plan, Building a
Safer Future[1]
, states:
“The Government accepts the need to create, in law, a tougher regulatory
framework, under which regulators will have greater powers and more
opportunities to intervene throughout the lifecycle of a building.”

These new regulations mark the beginning
of what is likely to be a thorough and extended period of change for the
industry to keep abreast of.

Brexit and the construction industry

Construction
output dropped towards the end of 2018 according to the Office of National
Statistics, with the continued uncertainty of Brexit highlighted as a
contributing factor.

Proposed Government plans for immigration post-Brexit has led
to many trade associations raising concerns about the potential impact on the
skills shortage, as currently 9% of the UK’s construction workers are from the
European Union.

If a limit on low-skilled workers is introduced the industry will need to prepare for the fallout this
will have.

Technology
continues to be on the rise

With
consumers becoming increasingly aware of (and comfortable with) using smart
technologies, more suppliers are launching new products in smart home ranges to
take advantage of the trend. Considering the growing popularity of these
products, tradespeople should look at taking advantage of the increase in
customer demand.

Wayne Lysaght-Mason, Managing Director of
IronmongeryDirect, said: “Smart products are redefining the way that a
property functions, and there is a clear need for tradespeople to keep well-informed
of the developments involving smart technology. With basic home alarm systems
now enhanced to monitor, control and interact with a home or business premises
from a smartphone or tablet, we are just at the beginning of this smart tech
revolution.

“There is still a demand for traditional products, but new smart
alternatives should not be ignored. There
are some fantastic products on the market, whether you want to specialise in
security, lighting, heating or household appliances.”

New VAT rules
for building trade in 2019

From
1 October 2019, new rules will be enforced meaning, builders, subcontractors
and other trades associated with the construction industry will have to start
using a new method of accounting for VAT.

The measure is designed to combat VAT
fraud in the construction sector labour supply chain which HMRC argue presents
a significant tax loss. HMRC has now published draft legislation to introduce
the Reverse Charge for Construction Services.

Tradespeople are advised to keep up to
date with the new rules later in the year.

IronmongeryDirect
is the UK’s largest specialist ironmongery supplier, with over 17,000 products
in stock, available for next day delivery when you order by 8pm Sunday to
Friday and by 4pm on Saturday. Free delivery is available on orders over £45
together with free returns.

For
more information, visit
IronmongeryDirect.com or call their team of specialist
advisors on 0800 168 28 28.


[1]
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/707785/Building_a_Safer_Future_-_web.pdf

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