Guidance and Advice on Subcontractor Plumbing
In common with many jobs in the field of building maintenance and construction, plumbing is often a task that is subcontracted to experts in their trade. After all, doing so means being able to obtain the specialist skills that are needed as when they are required. Compared to keeping your own plumbing team on your company’s books this is a more cost-effective and convenient approach to take.
Indeed, it is only the very largest construction firms which will need professionals to install new plumbing systems every day of the week that do not turn to subcontractor plumbing firms. That said, even some of the UK and Ireland’s biggest housebuilders still outsource such work, just they do their electrical installation work and things like kitchen fitting. After all, it affords them plenty of flexibility in their commercial operations.
Nevertheless, anyone who is considering appointing a subcontractor plumbing firm should understand the basics of how the outsourcing system works. For starters, there is a difference between hiring a plumber with a BTEC Level 1 in Construction and the Built Environment compared to one with an EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Plumbing who can undertake more advanced design and installation work. What do you need to know?
Why Use Subcontractors For Plumbing?
To begin with, it is worth addressing why subcontractor plumbing firms are so useful. Any householder who needs to have a repair to their plumbing system will probably just ring a local plumber to help them. However, a business that relies on more specialist services will often benefit from the additional manpower that a subcontractor plumbing firm can deliver.
Facilities managers who have responsibilities for multiple commercial properties may need, for example, skilled plumbers who can carry out repairs and inspections to boilers and heating systems as well as water distribution systems. Therefore, they might need a gas registered plumber one day and a bathroom installer or drainage expert the next.
Only a subcontracting firm that specialises in all plumbing work will be able to cope with the variety of plumbing jobs that are needed in commercial premises nowadays. Some will even need subcontractors who can get involved at the design stage of a new building, perhaps working alongside other contractors, such as architects and civil engineers. If so, outsourcing is the most straightforward approach to take.
CIS Rules and Subcontracted Plumbing
The world of subcontractor plumbing is not always straightforward from the point of view of taxation. Although, generally speaking, subcontractors will look after their own tax returns, because they are never in the direct employment of the company that is availing of their services, the UK’s CIS scheme – and Ireland’s RCT scheme – complicates matters.
Put simply, it is a question of whether a subcontractor plumbing firm is engaged in work that falls within these schemes or outside of them. With bricklayers, for example, it is fairly easy to see that all of their work is considered to be within the construction sector. However, when it comes to plumbers, it is not so simple.
To be clear, if subcontracted plumbing work forms part of the delivery of a new building, then CIS rules will apply and tax will need to be prepaid to the authorities by the main contractor concerned. However, maintenance jobs and renovating old plumbing systems often won’t. It is a bit of a grey area but most experienced subcontractor plumbing firms know when the rules apply and when they do not.
The Benefits of Outsourcing Plumbing Works For Companies
As previously mentioned, hiring an in-house team of plumbers is relatively costly and will mean needing to deal with all of the paperwork that goes with payroll, employer’s national insurance contributions and income tax. On the other hand, this will all be dealt with by the outsourcing company you use if you choose to go down the subcontractor route instead.
Furthermore, using a subcontractor plumbing firm means being able to operate in a much more adaptable manner. As market conditions change and your demand for plumbing services alters, so you can hire or release subcontracted plumbers with much greater ease than you would with directly employed people. There is no need to redeploy plumbers into other work or to make them redundant should you not require their services for a period.
Outsourcing to a subcontractor plumbing specialist will also mean being able to more easily acquire just the skills you need for a particular job. If you only need a trainee plumber to carry out a simple repair, then why would you pay for your own in-house expert to do it for you? Equally, why have an under-experienced plumber on your books if you need more advanced plumbing work to be carried out from time to time? Outsourcing means easily obtaining the right skill set every time.
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