Trade workers asked for free labour or advice at least twice a week

Trade workers are being asked 9 times a month on average by friends for free labour or advice.

Eager to please, a quarter (25%) offer mates rates as they feel guilty not doing it, and 68% say they feel pressure to, even though they don’t want to (23%). On average, those who do cheap work for friends and family believe they lose out on around £1,400 a year.

As a result, workers are hit by two different losses – time and money.

However, 39% admit they make up excuses, such as being “too busy” to get out of doing free work for friends. Almost a quarter (22%) have pretended they have an emergency to deal with, while 1 in 5 (21%) fake sick to get out of doing jobs they will not be paid for.

When spotted out and about in their uniform, it can be a blatant reminder that your mate is in a trade and can perhaps ‘pop in and get a few jobs done.’

But both a blessing and a curse, 2 in 5 (39%) feel proud of their profession when they wear their uniform. So much so that over a third wear their uniform even when they don’t need to, either because they think people trust them more when they wear it (36%) or because they feel more professional (42%).

Whilst uniforms can be a blatant reminder of a profession and cause unwanted requests from friends and family, they’re a vital part of their working day as they make workers feel more confident and professional, not to mention the health and safety benefits.

Despite this, half of trade workers (50%) admit they sometimes avoided wearing PPE despite health and safety regulations.

A further 57% reveal that they or a colleague had suffered a work-related injury due to not wearing suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) or clothing in the past. Of those who said this, 69% said the most recent occasion it had happened resulted in a severe injury.

Plumbers are the most common profession when feeling pressured to offer mates rates – with 40% saying this, compared to 25% of boiler/gas engineers saying the same.

Looking ahead, 30% highlight that offering mates rates may lead to further work if they do a good job, which is the main reason that they do it.