Employing tradesmen with and without CSCS cards: what you need to know

If you work in the construction industry and employ tradesmen, you want to make sure the people you hire are qualified to do the job at hand.

CSCS cards have become one of the main ways of doing just that, giving you a quick and reliable way to see if someone is qualified for the job as well as ensuring they have health, safety and environment training to boot.

Let’s quickly take you through the things you need to know about CSCS cards and employing tradesmen.

Are CSCS cards a legal requirement?

In recent years the Home Office have had a crackdown on fraudulent workers, so it’s understandable that employers want to do everything they can to make sure their operation isn’t going to end up in the government’s crosshairs.

CSCS cards aren’t legally required before you can start work, however, if your employees have one then you’ll know they’re qualified to carry out the work required of them.

Many construction sites will also require tradesmen to hold cards before being allowed on site, in much the same way tradesman insurance is often required, despite not necessarily being a legal requirement.

How do I check a CSCS card is genuine?

If your employee has a CSCS card and you want to make sure it’s the real deal, then you can use the CSCS online card checker.

The form asks for your employee’s name, date of birth and NI number as well as their CSCS ID number, so make sure you have those details to hand.

What if my employees don’t have a CSCS card?

As mentioned above, CSCS cards themselves are not a legal requirement, so you’re not going to get in trouble if you employ people who have the right skills but just don’t have the card.

However, as CSCS cards have come to be the main way employers check credentials of construction workers, you may find that not having them makes it harder to get work.

If you want to take on subcontracted work, then the primary contractor may well require you and your employees to all have CSCS cards.

Fortunately, there’s a form you can fill in a if you wish to bulk-buy CSCS cards for your employees. Bear in mind that you will still need to make sure that they’ve passed the Health, Safety and Environment training before you can apply for their cards.

Forgetting your employees or sub-contractors for a moment, if you’re wondering ‘how do I get a CSCS card?’ our guide can help you on your way.

Ever had a problem with employees not having CSCS cards? Or do you think they’re a waste of time and money? Sound off in the comments and have your say.

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