If you have had an electrician around to do electrical work lately, are you sure he or she was actually a licensed electrician? And are you sure they are insured to cover any of the work they did at your premises? Have you knowingly hired someone to perform “cashies” and thought about the consequences? These are questions that should be answered before hiring someone to perform electrical work.
What Are “Cashies”?
The term “cashies” is often used to describe jobs that at end of completion, cash is used to pay for the services of the person who performed the work. Cashies are illegal as the person who performs the work usually does not have their own registered business and relevant insurances. This is where the problem lies for customers.
In relation to electrical work, a person may have an electrical licence but may not have an electrical contractors licence. Which means if hired, customers are not covered by insurances in the event of something going wrong such as an electrical fire, damages to electrical appliances or any other damages relating to the work performed.
Please note that using cash to pay for services provided is of course still legal when paid to legitimate people and/or businesses with the relevant licenses and insurances.
Difference Between Electrical Licence and Electrical Contractor Licence
A person who performs electrical work in Queensland must have an electrical work licence. Persons holding an electrical licence are required by law to ensure electrical work is performed in accordance with legislative requirements and any codes of practice and technical standards that apply. However, by law they are only permitted to perform electrical work under a business holding an electrical contractor licence, or for their own immediate family.
An electrical contractor’s licence is what an electrician should have if they have their own electrical business that provides electrical services for other people other than their own immediate family. Electrical contractors are required to meet specific insurance requirements including having a minimum of $5 million public liability insurance, with a $50,000 consumer protection component.
How Do I Find Out If They Have The Required Licenses?
You should always check for relevant licenses before hiring someone to perform electrical work. You can do so by clicking on this link. You should also always check that they are a legitimate business by doing an ABN lookup here.
You should be able to find these details on their business logos, business cards, invoices, business website or by even asking them for the details. If this information is not available or they do not match the person and/or business, it is a worrying sign and you should proceed with caution.