Effective July 1, 2022, Florida’s pool and spa contractors can hire any pool and spa subcontractor regardless of that subcontractor’s state or local licensing status.
The law allows pool contractors to hire unlicensed subcontractors for any residential or commercial pool or spa construction project.
The new swimming pool subcontractor exemption is similar to the so called “Jim Walters exemption” which has allowed Florida General Contractors to hire unlicensed subcontractors on residential projects for more than a decade.
Prior to the passage of the bill, all workers on swimming pool and spa job sites in Florida either had to be a W2 employee of the swimming pool and spa contractor or a separately licensed subcontractor. This licensing requirement for swimming pool subcontractors led to a severe shortage of subcontracting labor in the Florida swimming pool and spa industry. According to the Florida Swimming Pool Association, FSPA, currently there is only one licensed subcontractor for every 11 CPC/RP swimming pool and spa contractors in the state. SB 222’s purpose was to help alleviate this disparity and give all Florida swimming pool and spa contractors the ability to hire the best subcontracting labor available and to better serve their customers.
SB 222 does not eliminate the Specialty Swimming Pool and Spa Subcontracting licenses or allow swimming subcontractors to work directly with consumers.All unlicensed swimming pool and spa subcontractors must be working under the supervision of a fully licensed CPC or RP swimming pool and spa contractor.
The signing of SB 222 by Gov. Ron DeSantis is a big win for FSPA and the Florida swimming pool and spa industry. The exemption granted by SB 222 will give pool and spa contractors access to more subcontracting labor and create many more jobs in the industry. SB 222 is also the first major amendment to Section 489 of Florida Statues in nearly 30 years and was passed through the Florida State Legislature without any amendments or “NAY” votes during the process. The passage of SB 222 and companion bill HB 265 is the result of a lot of hard work during the 2022 Florida Legislative session that should be recognized.
The FSPA Board of Directors and members supported and advocated for SB 222 and have worked on this issue for years. FSPA Board members Mike Canto, Tony Arredondo, T.J. Wood, Ryan Roby, and Deidre Bedford traveled to Tallahassee to testify in support of this bill. Bill sponsors Senator Joe Gruters and Representative Lawrence McClure made this issue a top priority and made sure it moved early and fast through the legislative process. FSPA’s lobbying firm, Converge Public Strategies, worked tirelessly on this issue from every angle and helped FSPA set the stage for victory this year.
SB 222 was passed by the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate on March 7, 2022, and on May 6, SB 222 was signed into law by Gov. DeSantis.