Licensed contractors OK to hire unlicensed workers
To address the pool and spa industry’s subcontractor labor shortage, a bill supported by the Florida Swimming Pool Association has been introduced for the 2022 legislative session.
SB 222, sponsored by Senator Joe Gruters, aims to ease the industry’s subcontractor labor shortage by granting swimming pool and spa contractors the same subcontractor licensing exemption that Florida homebuilders have enjoyed since 2006, colloquially known as the “Jim Walters Exemption.”
SB 222 would allow certified and registered swimming pool and spa contractors to hire subcontractors to work under their supervision that do not have a specialty subcontractor license or a local subcontractor license. This bill will not change or eliminate the specialty subcontractor licenses.
According to the FSPA, the subcontractor labor shortage the industry has been experiencing has largely been driven by a disproportionately small number of licensed swimming pool and spa specialty subcontractors available for the number of certified and registered swimming pool and spa contractors working today.
As of 2021, FSPA reports that there are 3,893 active swimming pool and spa contractors in Florida compared to only 351 licensed swimming pool specialty subcontractors, an asymmetry that FSPA says causes job delays and hurts the industry. SB 222 will help the Florida swimming pool and spa industry by expanding the subcontractor labor market and allowing certified and registered swimming pool and spa contractors to freely hire subcontractors without fear of violating Florida’s unlicensed contracting prohibitions, just as homebuilders have had for the last 15 years.
SB 222 was one of the very first substantive policy bills filed in the Senate for 2022 and is one of Sen. Gruters’ top three priority bills. The FSPA government relations team will work hard with Sen. Gruters to get SB 222 to Governor DeSantis’ desk in 2022.
If you have any government affairs questions or concerns, FSPA Government Affairs Manager Dallas Thiesen can be reached at [email protected] or at 941-952-9293.