Working in a house alone with a minor

Discussion in 'Just Talk' started by Muzungu, Sep 12, 2021.

  1. Muzungu

    Muzungu Screwfix Select

    Just interested on what the trades view on this is as I am following a discussion on a property forum about it.

    Would you work alone in a house with someone under the age of 16, for example, or would it be something you would not do as a matter of policy?
  2. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Well-Known Member

    I can see exactly where you’re going with this. So - c’mon - why exactly would a respectable tradesman (more than likely a family man) have a ‘policy’ like this? Please explain.
  3. Wayners

    Wayners Screwfix Select

    I have. What's the problem.
    pppmacca43 likes this.
  4. pppmacca43

    pppmacca43 Super Member

    Sensible to have something in place I would have thought, that says you will only work if an adult is present, especially if u are a lone worker.
  5. Wayners

    Wayners Screwfix Select

    Why. Think the child needs to be a teenager but apart from that I can't see a problem.
    They tend to stay in room on PlayStation or have mates over or I've had a few home from school with colds ect.
    I've also said ill get out and sit in van if they need to come get lunch in kitchen where I'm working.
    I don't see a problem myself.
    longboat likes this.
  6. Muzungu

    Muzungu Screwfix Select

    No, I am not going anywhere in particular, I was interested if this was something that was ever considered.

    The discussion on another forum was among landlords who were responsible for getting in trades in their rental properties. It was prompted by an issue that arose from one of the tenants contacting a landord to allege that the trade who came in behaved "inappropriately" (whatever that means) to a young person in the house and what responsibility, if any, the landlord had in a case like that.
  7. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Well-Known Member

    Oh but you are. So someone behaves inappropriately, gets reported (quite right too) - so every other tradesman in the UK should now refuse to go in the house just in case? I’d respectfully suggest that you tell the other landlords on your forum to use proper professionals rather than the cheap, unskilled, tenth-rate handymen types they usually hire to get jobs done as cheaply as possible. Maybe if they did, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.
  8. Muzungu

    Muzungu Screwfix Select

    I am really not suggesting that at all. I was purely interested in what real tradesmen do in that situation, i.e. working alone with a minor, and yes I completely agree that if there was inappropriate behaviour it should be reported, I can't think of anyone who would think otherwise. It is also the case that in law a landlord has something called "vicarious liability" in a case like this in other words a duty of care to their tenant.

    With the utmost respect I think you have read quite a bit into my post that I didn't mean or imply.
    WillyEckerslike and Jord86 like this.
  9. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    I don't see it as an issue, then again if you're working for new customers it's virtually unheard of that they would leave their child alone in the house with an unknown tradesman so the scenario wouldn't really happen. It's recurring customers that trust you whereby that scenario may ever occur. Apart from increased vulnerability, what's the difference to working in a single young woman's house, or a frail old persons home? Trust works both ways.
    longboat likes this.
  10. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Well-Known Member

    Fair enough. It just hit a bit of a nerve over something I take extremely seriously, and I didn't mean to come at you guns blazing - your original question was perfectly legitimate and I apologise for over-reacting. For reasons unknown, a disproportionate amount of my customers are single women, and they are always treated with the utmost respect. Same goes for kids, be they 6 or 16. Jord86 summed it up perfectly above. I do stand by what I said regarding the type of blokes many landlords seem to employ, though.

    Best wishes.
    BikerChris and Muzungu like this.
  11. longboat

    longboat Screwfix Select

    Don't have a problem with it myself, as long as they are old enough to look after themselves and as Wayners said they usually stay out of the way busy on a games console or tablet etc.
    A five year old would be a different matter altogether though, a definite no.
    But then no parent in their right mind would ask a tradesman to do that anyway, although I'm sure there are some parents out there who are not of right mind and I'd never work for them regardless.
  12. Bob Rathbone

    Bob Rathbone Screwfix Select

    On a different tack to the obvious, as the adult present you are in charge of the minor. You assume parental responsibility and all of the issues that come with it. You must ask yourself, am I an Electrician or a child minder, if so you need to be registered and monitored by OFFSTED, at a cost which you bear.
  13. longboat

    longboat Screwfix Select

    That's not how it works in the real world though.
    If it were, then my kids wouldn't be able to go over to a friends house for a few hours to play, unless their parents were registered with OFFSTEAD.
    Their friends wouldn't be able to come here either.
    Muzungu likes this.
  14. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Screwfix Select

    In actual fact, as the adult present, you are not in charge of a minor. The only adult present in charge of a minor is the parents, a teacher at the minors school, a policeman, doctor or ambulance staff. If a parent leaves a child at home alone while a tradesman is working in the house, the parent is guilty of child neglect..........simple as that really.
    Tilt likes this.
  15. goldwise

    goldwise Active Member

    So long as they can make a good cuppa, where's the problem?

    But no, a parent should make suitable childcare arrangements. A tradesman is there to do a job and it could be a dangerous environment for an unsupervised child.
  16. Bob Rathbone

    Bob Rathbone Screwfix Select

    That is a different arrangement where no money changes hands, as a tradesman how do you separate the child minding role from the professional role for which you make a charge. If it could be done that way we would see child minders setting up as painters and avoiding OFFSTED. Yes I know it all seems very silly and pedantic now, but what happens when something goes wrong and the authorities, even better Social Services become involved. They may not take such a light view of the proceedings.
  17. Tilt

    Tilt Screwfix Select

    How can a landlord possibly be held responsible for a tenant that allows a person under the age of 16 (which must also be assumed that it is their own child), to be in their rental property whilst work is being carried out.

    Surely it is not a landlords responsibility to make sure that his tenants children are not left alone, in this scenario.
    So long as the landlord had notified the tenant that a contractor will be visiting the property, and when (time and date), and possibly checked that the contractor is not on any known register (if necessary), surely the buck stops there.
  18. Tilt

    Tilt Screwfix Select

    I do not see how a tradesman could possibly be held responsible for anyone else (not affiliated with them) in the house whilst carrying out their work
    ALTHOUGH I can see the responsibility to ensure that no harm is caused DUE TO the work being carried out. Including tools, trip hazard etc. Common sense stuff. Duty of Care...
    So make sure the child stays out of the way. Simple.
  19. BikerChris

    BikerChris Active Member

    This happened today actually, parents said they'd be in, but when I arrived only a teenage girl was there, who said I could come in if needed. Even though I have not had any problems over 20 odd years, I said I would wait outside til parents got home.

    They took half hour to arrive, so I charged em for that time.

    When I work with landlords, they always there with me unless its an all dayer and then i am left if adult present or just left there on my own.
  20. longboat

    longboat Screwfix Select

    Yet again, this isn't how it works in the real world.
    For example, my child is invited to a birthday party hosted by one of their friends parents at a venue that caters for such events.
    Money has been exchanged, the parents have paid for the venue and we drop him/her off to have a few hours of fun with their mates then pick them up at the allocated time.
    Neither the parents or company owners and staff have a need to be registered with OFFSTEAD.

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