If you need to start formal or disciplinary action, dismiss a member of staff, or make redundancies in your salon or barbershop make sure you follow the right procedures and stay within the law.

Always get professional legal advice before taking any action.

This blog post covers: 

Taking formal action

You must have clear written rules and procedures in place so your employees are clear about what is expected of them, including their general conduct, levels of performance, and rules around specific issues such as use of social media. They must understand what is acceptable and what is unacceptable and what the consequences may be if they fall below the required standard. 



NHBF Members can download free employee contracts and employee handbooks which set out what is expected of your employees.

The staff handbook also includes a statement of commitment to protecting the health, safety and welfare of employees.

NHBF contracts specify an initial probationary period of three months which can be extended to six months if necessary. 



Find out how to get the best from your salon or barbershop staff.

If your employee constantly underperforms, is frequently late or off sick, or behaves in an unacceptable way, for example, coming into work under the influence of alcohol, you will need to sit down with them to discuss the situation. It’s best practice to tackle difficult issues as quickly as possible for the wellbeing of all your staff and your business. Take the time to have a private conversation with your employee. Don’t be confrontational – remember they may have personal, health or workplace issues that are affecting their performance and behaviour. Give them lots of opportunities to have their say and try to agree a positive way forward.

Remember: the law says you have a legal duty to protect your salon or barbershop employees from stress at work. Find out how to support a stressed employee.

It is also against the law to discriminate against employees because of a mental or physical disability. You must not make assumptions about their suitability for promotion or the amount of sick leave they need.

 Take steps to promote good mental health for yourself, your employees and clients.


Guide to management performance


NHBF Members can download our free guide on managing staff and performance appraisals. Not yet a Member? Join for less than 75p a day

When things don’t work out …

If your informal discussions don’t lead to sufficient improvements in your employee’s performance or behaviour you may need to start formal performance management or disciplinary proceedings. You must take legal advice before taking any action. If you don’t follow the correct procedures, you may face an employment tribunal.

Your 24/7 legal helpline

NHBF Members benefit from a free 24/7 legal helpline to help with employment issues. Find out more:

 Hair salons and barbershops

Beauty salons 


Dismissing a member of staff

You must have a fair and valid reason to dismiss a member of staff.

Never dismiss a member of staff without taking legal advice.

Don’t forget – if your employee is having difficulty in the workplace for health reasons, you should do everything you can to help and support them so they can do their job.

NHBF Members can login to read the full version of this blog post for more detailed information including how to deal with employee grievances against colleagues.

Not yet a Member? Join us for less than 75p a day to get a wide range of benefits including access to our friendly membership team, free 24/7 legal advice, in-depth business guides and fact sheets, and valuable discounts on business essentials including insurance.



Summary dismissal

Summary dismissal means dismissing someone on the spot without notice, usually because of gross misconduct such as theft, fraud or violence in the workplace.

You must still act fairly and follow due process when carrying out an instant dismissal. Always take legal advice.

Find out what rights your salon and barbershop employees have.

Tax Inspection

Making staff redundant

An employee can be made redundant when you no longer need anyone to do their job.

The lawful reasons for redundancy include:

• Your business closes permanently or temporarily.
• Your business moves and your employee cannot get to the new place of work.
• Fewer employees are needed to do the existing work.

You should always take legal advice before starting a redundancy process.

Your employee will be entitled to statutory redundancy pay if they have worked for you for at least two years.

Redundancy and maternity

Women who are pregnant or on maternity leave can be made redundant if the redundancy process is carried out in a fair and legal way. However, the law is very strict about this and special rules apply to pregnant women and women on maternity leave.

It is unfair dismissal and discrimination if you select a woman for redundancy because she is pregnant or on maternity leave.

Pregnancy and Parenting Guide

 Our in-depth guide to pregnancy and parenting is available for download to NHBF Members only. 


Employment tribunals

Employment tribunals make independent decisions about various employment issues including pay, dismissal and discrimination. 

If you lose the case, you may have to pay compensation to your employee, offer them employment again, pay witness expenses or pay damages or loss of earnings. 


• Always take legal advice before taking any action.
• You must have clear written rules and procedures in place.
• You must act fairly and reasonably or you may face an employment tribunal.
• Try to sort out any issues quickly and informally.
• Remember you have a duty of care towards your employees.
• If your informal discussions don’t work, you may need to start formal proceedings.
• You must have fair and valid reasons for dismissing a member of staff.
• You must act fairly, even if you need to dismiss someone without notice.
• You can only make staff redundant for specific legal reasons.
• Employees who have worked for you for over two years will be entitled to statutory redundancy pay.
• You cannot select a woman for redundancy just because she is pregnant or on maternity leave.