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Doing work for no payment (gratuitous work)

Work for friends, relatives or community groups for no payment is called gratuitous work in the electrical, plumbing and gas-fitting trades.

Eligibility to do gratuitous work

Prescribed work such as electrical, plumbing and gas-fitting requires the person undertaking the work to hold a valid practitioner licence. When a company or person enters into a contract to perform prescribed work they need to hold a valid contractor licence in addition to either employing practitioners or holding the practitioner licence themselves.

When working for a company which holds an appropriate contractor licence, there is no need for you to hold any further licences as you are not responsible for the contract.

Very often practitioners who do not hold contractor licences are asked by family and community groups, such as churches and sports clubs, to perform prescribed work for no payment. This could include work on their own house. This scenario is what is commonly known as gratuitous work.

Gratuitous work may be performed by a person in possession of an appropriate practitioner licence without the need to hold the additional contractor licence. An exception is a plumber who must be currently licensed as a Plumber, Certifier Level.  A plumber holding a practitioner licence, is not able to carry out gratuitous work.

Gratuitous work - CBOS assessment

Electrical work

  1. You or the property owner must have at least $5 million Public Liability and Products Liability insurance that would cover the work performed by you.
  2. You need to maintain records of the electrical work for ten years, including insurance details.
  3. Record gratuitous electrical work using the Certificate of Electrical Compliance (CEC) form. Provide details of the specific electrical work performed and lodge the form with TechSafe within three days of energising the electrical work.

Gas-fitting work

  1. You or the property owner has at least $5 million Public Liability and Products Liability insurance that would cover the work performed by you.
  2. You must complete a Gratuitous Work Form (PDF, 454.0 KB) and lodge the form with Gas Standards and Safety Unit, CBOS, for assessment by either:
    1. email to cbosinfo@justice.tas.gov.au or
    2. post to Consumer, Building and Occupational Services, PO Box 56, Rosny Park, TAS, 7018
  3. No work is to start until you receive a letter from CBOS which will be sent within 7 business days
  4. You must keep records of the work for ten years (including insurance)
  5. You must submit the appropriate paperwork with Gas Standards and Safety Unit by either:
    1. email to cbos.info@justice.tas.gov.au, or
    2. post to Consumer, Building and Occupational Services, PO Box 56, Rosny Park, TAS, 7018

Plumbing work

  1. A certified plumber must complete a Gratuitous Work Form (PDF, 454.0 KB) and lodge the form with CBOS for assessment by either:
    1. email to cbosinfo@justice.tas.gov.au or
    2. post to Consumer, Building and Occupational Services, PO Box 56, Rosny Park, TAS, 7018
  2. No work is to start until you receive a letter from CBOS which will be sent within 14 business days
  3. Contact Building Surveyors, Councils, TasWater and/or any relevant Authorities to arrange approval before commencing work
  4. Keep records of the work for ten years (including insurance)
  5. Lodge the paperwork with the appropriate local authorities

Important: A plumber must be currently licensed at Certifier Level. Plumbing practitioners are not able to carry out gratuitious work.

Updated: 22 Jun 2020