Lawmakers to review Builders Law

A law requiring builders and tradespeople to be licensed will go to the Legislative Assembly next month. 

The proposed Builders Law aims to introduce a new regulatory regime that construction industry leaders say will help improve standards and protect Caymanian jobs. 

The bill, which will be debated at the next session of the assembly commencing Aug. 12, is an update of the law passed in 2007 but never brought into force. A list of amendments to the 2007 law were published in government’s official gazette on Monday. 

Heber Arch, president of the Cayman Contractors Association, said the industry was 100 percent in support of the legislation. 

“The main purpose of the law is to ensure that anyone doing construction work is properly qualified for the job they are being paid to do,” he said. 

Mr. Arch said the law would help protect consumers from unskilled or unqualified contractors and would ensure contractors have the relevant liability insurance. 

He said most businesses operating in Cayman would have no problem meeting the requirements of the planned law. 

Sliding scale 

The bill and accompanying regulations create different categories of registration, from general contractors to sub trades such as plumbers, roofers and masons, with a sliding scale of requirements and fees. 

At the top end, general contractors – businesses qualified to engage in construction, and civil contractors – businesses that build roads, docks, bridges and utilities infrastructure, must meet the strictest criteria for experience and qualifications. Smaller or less experienced businesses can apply for a separate category of “building contractor” for construction of commercial, industrial or residential buildings less than 25,000 square feet or three stories. A fourth category of “residential contractor” is for businesses that construct or renovate buildings comprising four homes or less. 

The proposed law seeks to establish a Builder’s Board which will be responsible for maintaining a register of business entities and qualified individuals in the construction field. 

Businesses will be required to prove they have the necessary number of qualified individuals on staff to qualify in the category for which they are applying to be registered. Individual contractors and tradesmen will be required to demonstrate they have necessary qualifications before they can be licensed. 

Premier Alden McLaughlin previously said the law would help provide reassurance to consumers. 

“Once the law is passed,” he said, “it will guarantee that plumbers are plumbers, electricians are electricians; carpenters are carpenters.”