Work in other peoples homes FAQ
This guidance is for tradespeople providing goods and services in or to other peoples’ homes. This includes all in-home workers – such as utility engineers, domestic cleaners, furniture delivery and furniture installations, in accordance with relevant sectoral and industry guidance.
Q. I need to go into someone else’s home in order to do my job. Can I do that now?
Work carried out in people’s homes can continue across all levels COVID-19 protection levels but should be strictly limited to the provision of essential or permitted goods and services at Level 4 or under Lockdown restrictions. This is to help suppress the spread of the virus.
Q. Is the good /service I provide considered essential under Level 4 or Lockdown?
The current measures in Scotland are designed to be in place for a short period of time and are required to suppress the virus.
Work in other people’s homes must only be carried out in line with the regulations. These limit the work or provision of services for the purpose of the upkeep, maintenance or functioning of the home to only situations where that work is essential. The kind of work we expect may continue includes:
- utility engineers and telecoms workers (e.g. electricity, gas, solid fuel, water, broadband) for the purpose of safety checks, repairs, maintenance and installations (where those cannot be delayed)
- urgent repairs and maintenance - time critical repairs and maintenance that threaten the households health and safety
- pest control
- delivery, installation and repair of key household furniture and appliances such as washing machine, refrigerator, cooker etc.
- provision of health, medical and veterinary care to household occupants including animals e.g. to prevent a health or welfare issue arising or address a current health or welfare issue
- services in support of a home move
- domestic cleaner providing services in support of a clean and safe living environment for people in vulnerable circumstance, living with a disability and as a result of that vulnerable circumstance or disability are unable to clean their own home
For guidance on childcare, please check Your guide to childcare | Parent Club
Where work to be carried out on someone else’s home is not essential, it would be against the law for it to go ahead while the house is occupied under the current restrictions. Examples of this could include:
- cosmetic painting/ decorating/ interior design
- interior remodelling
- measuring, fitting or replacement of kitchens/ bathrooms/carpets or windows where the existing condition is adequate and does not risk the health or safety of the household
Q. What steps should I take to protect myself and others when working in someone else’s home?
In this public health crisis, it is vital that everyone act responsibly and align fully with published guidance. At a minimum this should include:
- 2 metres physical distancing
- good ventilation
- the wearing of face coverings
- effective hygiene practices
- appropriate risk assessment
- contact tracing and appropriate self-isolation
These are the most effective means of preventing transmission of the virus and saving lives.
People delivering goods to, or services in or outside a customer’s house, can travel between COVID-19 Protection Levels for the purpose of work where that work is essential and allowed under the regulations.
Across all Levels and during Lockdown tradespeople and businesses should contact the customer or client in advance to:
- ensure the customer or client agrees to have their contact details recorded for the purpose of contact tracing
- check the household is not self-isolating
People should not enter the home if any of its occupants are self-isolating, except where such work is essential for emergency health and safety reasons. In such circumstances tradespeople and businesses should review any risk assessment processes they have in place and be especially vigilant in implementing existing mitigation measures throughout the duration of the work, such as
- physical distancing
- hand hygiene
- avoiding unnecessary contact with household surfaces
- use of face coverings
These mitigations are essential to break the chain of transmission.
Q. What guidance is available to support safe working in someone else’s home?
There is a range of guidance available to support people undertaking work in someone’s home this includes:
- physical distancing, face covering and self-isolation guidance.
- construction industry guidance including industry guidance for those working in domestic properties.
- house moves
- retail, including mobile close contact services
- guidance for micro and small businesses
- face coverings including exemption cards
- travel and transport and who needs to self-isolate
- childcare provision
- Your guide to childcare | Parent Club
You should also consult the following guidance:
- Health Protection Scotland
- Health & Safety Executive – Working Safely guidance.
- Test and Protect: guidance for self-isolating including advice for employers
- Test and Protect: collection of Customer and visitor data
- NHS Inform
Q. I provide a door-to-door service. Can I do that now?
Delivery drivers, postal workers, couriers and other similar workers or volunteers should adhere to physical distancing and hygiene requirements when picking up and delivering orders, post or other goods or services to and from residential properties.
As an additional measure we recommend that, unless exempt, face coverings are worn in communal, indoor residential areas such as blocks of flats and other multiple occupancy spaces where physical distancing can be difficult to maintain (for example, in stairwells), on entering and until exiting the building.
We expect these workers to only enter someone’s home to deliver goods or shopping where it is essential in supporting a vulnerable person. They must still adhere to all necessary steps to protect themselves and those living in the home by maintaining a 2m distance, wearing a face mask and adhering to good hygiene practices.
For members of the public who are using door-to-door services they should keep a safe distance from those providing such services and maintain good hygiene measures. Deliveries should be contactless – where possible, delivery workers should knock on the door, leave the package on the doorstep and step back to a distance of two metres. This advice should be read in conjunction with the physical distancing, face covering and self-isolation guidance.
Q. Can I have clients/ customers in my home?
If your job involves meeting with customers or clients in your home, remote working tools should be used where possible, then the same restrictions apply as if they were working in your home. Face to face meetings should only happen when the work is essential and allowed under the regulations. Any customer or client will also be subject to the stay at home requirements, so unless it is for an essential purpose they may be breaking the law by travelling to your home.