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What Are Labour Only Subcontractors?

A labour-only subcontractor is a worker or team of workers who provide labour services to contractors or other subcontractors on a project. They are different from other subcontractors in that they do not supply their own materials, tools, or equipment. Instead, they are hired solely for their labour services.

Here at Tradesman Saver, we can provide a wide range of public liability insurance policies for labour-only and bona-fide subcontractors of all kinds.

Key Takeaways:

  • Labour-only subcontractors offer specialised labour services to contractors on construction projects in the UK.
  • They differ from other subcontractors as they do not provide their own materials, tools, or equipment.

What is a Labour-Only Subcontractor?

Before we dive into the importance of labour-only subcontractors, let’s first define who they are and what specific services they provide. A labour-only subcontractor is a type of subcontractor who provides skilled labour for construction projects. They are responsible for providing workers, such as bricklayers, carpenters and electricians, to contractors who need additional staff to complete their projects.

Labour-only subcontractors differ from other types of subcontractors as they do not provide any materials or equipment, nor do they manage the project. Instead, their main focus is to supply competent and experienced workers to complete specific tasks. They are often hired for shorter periods of time and are not considered permanent employees of the contractor.

In the construction industry, labour-only subcontractors are an essential component as they offer flexibility to contractors and allow them to take on more work without the need for permanent staff. This means companies can keep their operational costs low and save time on recruiting and training new employees. What’s more, labour-only subcontractors are specialists in their trade and can provide a higher level of expertise than a general labourer.

The Importance of Labour-Only Subcontractors in Construction Projects

In the construction industry, labour-only subcontractors play a crucial role in providing skilled and specialised workers to complete projects efficiently and effectively. As construction projects vary in scope, size, and duration, labour-only subcontractors offer flexibility to contractors who need specific services or workers on short notice.

The use of labour-only subcontractors also provides cost savings for contractors, as they do not have to provide equipment or benefits, such as paid holiday or sick leave, to subcontractor employees. Instead, subcontractors are responsible for providing their own equipment and paying their own taxes.

Labour-only contracts benefit subcontractors by providing consistent work and predictable income streams. Subcontractors also have more control over their work schedule and are often able to negotiate higher rates for their specialised services.

How Do Labour-Only Subcontractors Work?

When working with labour-only subcontractors, it’s important to understand the process of hiring and working with them. The first step is to identify the specific services you require and find a subcontractor who can provide those services. Once you have selected a subcontractor, both parties will need to agree on the terms and conditions of the contract.

The contract agreement is a crucial aspect of the working relationship between the contractor and subcontractor. It outlines the scope of work, the duration of the contract, payment terms, and other important details. It’s important to have a clear and detailed contract agreement to minimise the risk of any misunderstandings or disputes.

It’s also important to ensure that any labour-only subcontractors you work with have the necessary skills, training, and qualifications to carry out the work required. The subcontractor must abide by the relevant safety regulations and have appropriate insurance coverage, including public liability insurance, as this will protect both the contractor and the subcontractor in case of accidents or damage.

Responsibilities of the Contractor Responsibilities of the Subcontractor
Provide a safe working environment Provide labour services as per contract
Ensure compliance with safety regulations Abide by safety regulations and procedures
Ensure timely and full payment Complete work as per agreed terms and conditions


Payment for services rendered by labour-only subcontractors is typically made on a weekly or monthly basis. However, this can vary depending on the terms of the contract agreement. It’s important to ensure that all payments made between the contractor and the subcontractor are documented in writing and that both parties are aware of their payment obligations.

In summary, working with labour-only subcontractors involves finding a subcontractor who can provide the necessary services, agreeing on the terms and conditions of the contract, ensuring that the subcontractor has the necessary skills and qualifications, and abiding by the relevant safety regulations. It’s important to have a clear and detailed contract agreement and to ensure that all payments are documented in writing.

The Role of Tradesman Saver in Supporting Labour-Only Subcontractors

At Tradesman Saver, we understand the importance of protecting yourself and your business as a labour-only subcontractor. That’s why we offer the insurance coverage you need at a price you can afford.

As the leading provider of insurance for tradespeople and small businesses in the UK, our policies include public liability insurance and employers’ liability insurance. These policies protect you in the event of accidents, injuries or damages that may occur while working.

Our public liability insurance covers you for claims of damage to property or injury to a member of the public that may arise during the course of your work. Our employers’ liability insurance covers you for claims from employees who may be injured while working for you.

With Tradesman Saver, you can get the coverage you need, starting from just £59 per year. Our policies are tailored to the needs of labour-only subcontractors, so you can be sure you’re getting the right coverage at the right price.

We pride ourselves on providing insurance coverage that is tailored to the unique needs of subcontractors in the construction industry. Our policies are designed to provide you with the flexibility and protection you need to succeed in your business.

Public Liability Insurance

Our public liability insurance policies provide coverage for claims made against you by third parties for accidents or injuries that occur on your work site. This insurance can protect you from costly legal fees, medical expenses, and damages incurred as a result of accidents or property damage.

Employers’ Liability Insurance

Employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement for all businesses that employ workers, including labour-only subcontractors. This insurance provides coverage for claims made by your employees for injuries or illnesses sustained on the job. At Tradesman Saver, we offer employers’ liability insurance with coverage limits up to £10 million.

With affordable insurance coverage, Tradesman Saver is the ideal choice for labour-only subcontractors looking to protect their business and their livelihood. Contact us today to learn more about our policies and how we can support your business.

For Labour-Only Subcontractors’ Insurance, Make Sure It’s Tradesman Saver

Here at Tradesman Saver, we can provide a complete range of public liability insurance for contractors and subcontractors in the UK. Our policies are tailored towards the specific needs of labour-only subcontractors, and our experienced staff are available to answer questions about coverage.

Whether you need contractors insurance to protect against legal liabilities or cover for injury claims, you can count on Tradesman Saver for reliable protection that fits your budget. We understand that every business is unique and has its own specific needs but, luckily, we have a range of policies designed with flexibility in mind so that you can find one that’s just right for your circumstances.

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