17 March 2015

“Most hairdressing salon and barber shop owners will be dismayed by the government’s decision to enforce steep increases in the adult and youth rates from October.

“The rise in the adult rate will be the biggest increase since 2008. With one eye on May’s elections, it’s maybe not surprising the coalition government has made the decision it has.

“But small, labour-intensive salons are already struggling with patchy economic recovery as well as having to find extra money to fund pensions auto-enrolment and apprenticeships under the government’s new funding reforms.  For many this is going to feel like the last straw.

“Salons will have no option but to find this extra money from somewhere – and the NHBF will be working hard between now and October to ensure the industry is ready for this change. But our fear is it could lead to salons laying off valued employees to accommodate increased costs on their bottom line.

“We are also deeply disappointed at the government’s decision to increase the apprentice minimum wage by a phenomenal 20%, or 57p an hour.

“This will simply add to the wage pressures on salons. Coupled with funding reforms, it will make apprentices more expensive and therefore less attractive to salons, and in turn reduce employment opportunities. Today’s decision will do neither salons nor apprentices any favours whatsoever.”

The government in its response to the Low Pay Commission has announced:

  • a 20p (3%) increase in the adult rate (from £6.50 to £6.70 per hour)
  • a 17p (3%) increase in the rate for 18 to 20 year olds (from £5.13 to £5.30 per hour)
  • an 8p (2%) increase in the rate for 16 to 17 year olds (from £3.79 to £3.87 per hour)
  • a 57p (20%) increase in the rate for apprentices (from £2.73 to £3.30 per hour).