Removals operatives, sometimes called furniture removers, move the contents of homes and offices, including furniture and personal belongings, from one location to another.
You could be:
lifting carpets, taking down curtains or taking apart large items such as beds and wardrobes
carrying heavy objects such as household appliances up and down several flights of stairs in a tenement building
detaching, packing and reinstalling IT and other office equipment (this may be a specialist job)
packing items into the van in a certain order, making sure that everything is fixed securely
driving the van or accompanying the driver
unloading the van and unpacking boxes, using padding materials to separate and protect boxed items
putting large pieces of furniture back together
positioning furniture in its new location
removing doors or windows to move bulky items through.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
The starting salary is often based on the National Minimum Wage (NMW).
As of 1 April 2021 the National Minimum Wage is £4.62 an hour for workers aged 16 to 17, £6.56 an hour for workers aged 18 to 20 and £8.36 an hour for workers aged 21 to 22. The National Living Wage is £8.91 for workers aged 23 and over.
With experience this can increase to around £10 an hour, and for those undertaking driving duties pay can be up to £12.00 an hour. If you have to spend time away from home, you would be given a living allowance. You might be given tips by customers.
You would work either for a small to medium-size local removal firm or for a large national firm of removers with branches throughout the country.
Depending on the nature of each job, you could travel either long or short distances.
If travelling longer distances, you might spend some nights away from home.
You might often work long and irregular hours.
You would have to lift and carry heavy items.
You might sometimes work in cold, draughty or dusty conditions.
If you are going to drive the removal van, you need an appropriate driving licence, preferably a Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) licence together with the Certificate of Professional Competence (also known as the Driver CPC). The minimum age requirement is 18 years of age. Further details are available from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) website.
You may require a satisfactory criminal record check from Disclosure Scotland to show that you are suitable for this type of work. Contact Disclosure Scotland for details on the type you would need.
The DVSA replaced the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) in April 2014. Its aim is to promote road safety through improving driving standards, testing drivers, motorcyclists and driving instructors, maintaining the registers of Approved Driving Instructors and Large Goods Vehicle Instructors and supervising training for learner motorcyclists.
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