The Chief Executive of the Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors (APHC) has heavily criticised CORGIs new registration system for "private jobs. He calls it, "A disjointed, ill thought-out concept that will alienate just about every employer in the UK. He adds: "˜It will do nothing more than legitimise the trades black economy.
This is just the latest and the worst example of CORGI prioritising income and statistics over bringing forward legitimate gas safety initiatives.CORGI announced its new registration for "private jobs in its recent publication "Gas Installer" and on its website but not in a direct letter to its members. Its press release explains that, "CORGI is now adjusting the cost of additional CORGI registrations to make it easier and less costly for individual operatives to work on "private jobs" legally.
Clive Dickin explains his frustration at this development: "Put yourself in the shoes of a plumbing and heating company that has built itself a strong reputation by training staff to the correct standards, registering with CORGI, fulfilling all their legal responsibilities such as their national insurance contributions, holiday pay and sickness pay, not to mention ensuring all their employees have good quality, legal tools and vans. Then when an employee decides to work outside of his/her contract of employment - commonly known as a "foreigner" - CORGI has a way of legitimising this and allowing the employee to complete works legally.
"How can CORGI say this is increasing gas safety when the employee will already be fully trained to ACS standards and already CORGI-registered through their employer? If an employee wants to compete legally with his employer, the employee should register correctly with CORGI.
If, as CORGI are implying, there is a safety risk then this should be identified through the employer and appropriate risk assessments."In addition, engineers may well be able to work legitimately as "CORGI approved" but this will not guarantee that all other areas of law are being upheld, such as tax, insurance and best practice for the consumer within trading standards.
So if an engineer damages the residence while they are doing the job, the customer will probably find its down to them to pay for repairs rather than the plumbing and heating engineer. Surely CORGI must recognise that this undermines its position"This initiative is so poorly thought-through, even to the point where APHC would be interested to know how the CORGI inspector is going to get an employee of a registered company to attend site during working hours to review a job that s/he has done without his/her employers knowledge! If CORGI could advise the industry of how employers should deal with such a situation, APHC would be extremely interested so we can advise our members accordingly.
"The whole situation seems to me to be irresponsible. Under the guise of improving gas safety, CORGI is simply giving rogue employees, who are already judged competent through the registered employer, the ability to approve work through CORGI. I would urge all CORGI-registered companies to write to the Minister, Lord McKenzie, at the Department for Work and Pensions expressing their disapproval. "Quite honestly, if this is the best CORGI can do, it really is time for a change."