The Hair and Barber Council: Autumn Statement Impact

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The Hair and Barber Council are extremely concerned with the effect the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement will have on our sector!

With the sector still trying to recover from the Covid lockdowns, the current cost of living crisis, and the mayhem of the mini budget, many of our members are seriously worried about the future of their businesses.

UK salons are the main occupier of high streets up and down the UK (46,210) and the Autumn Budget released on 17th November has done nothing but levy a further cost rise on employers in the sector who already struggle to meet wage bills due to loss of trade following the Covid lockdowns and since the mini budget. A forced NMW increase of 9.7/10.9% plus employer oncosts will most certainly force the industries underground market to expand even further.

Employers in the industry are the ones sinking fast! With only 33% of workers in the industry now “employed”, and the only ones likely to be paying VAT are now also weighted down with increasing high energy costs and again more employment costs.

Every employer believes their employees deserve more, but the Government has naively levied an increase on a sector that is trading in a two-tier business model with employers now losing the race. Employers want to retain staff, invest, grow, and develop their businesses but they have not even had a chance to trade out of covid with many still not back to 2019 revenues, yet costs continue to rise at an unsustainable level.

Apprenticeship jobs already at risk from the pandemic and lack of Government support means this now forced wage increase will result in many 16–18-year-olds losing their apprenticeships, potentially forcing them onto benefits.

The industry is not regulated so there is no consumer protection in place to protect the public from rogue traders who have never trained or qualified in the industry. The consequence of Government choices has now increased what was already an endemic problem in the industry. The Hair and Barber Council are constituted by the 1964 Hairdressing Act with qualified professional hairdressers and barbers able to voluntarily register with the Council, but the mass of rogue traders will continue to plough trade in our sector forcing the entire industry in a race to the bottom.  Once regulated the sector would be managed by industry experts and professionals who have worked in the sector for many years.

The Hair and Barber Council urgently needs the following support to help it to survive and prosper:

  • Suspend business rates to help with high energy costs – include the personal care sector and give 75% discount or 100% to high street salons/barbers.
  • Give the sector a VAT cut and level up the playing field.
  • Introduce HMRC time to pay for industries still plagued with Covid debt from pandemic lockdowns they did not choose.
  • Support Apprenticeship costs for salon employers with an Apprenticeship furlough type scheme to SAVE JOBS.
  • Convert BBL/CBILS for small businesses locked down to grants.
  • HM Treasury to meet with The Hair & Barber Council and other organisations to deal with critical issues plaguing the industry.
  • Government to pay SSP for small employers as all are still impacted by Covid absence.
  • Make regulation mandatory to stop rogue traders, protect consumers and our professional sector.

For more information please contact [email protected] or [email protected]

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