25 February 2015

The government’s latest “naming and shaming” of businesses that have failed to pay workers the national minimum wage shows salons must ensure employees receive the right wage for their age and hours they work, the NHBF has warned.

This is especially relevant in light of the Low Pay Commission’s recommendation this week that minimum wage rates should rise this year. If the government accepts this, it will mean rates changing from October, and so salons will again need to be adjusting their payroll systems accordingly.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills this week [24 February] named 70 businesses that had failed to pay the correct wage, its largest ever number in one go, and means 162 firms have now been “shamed” in this way.

Beyond the damage to their reputation, firms that fail to pay the correct wage risk significant fines, currently up to £20,000 but from this summer expected to rise to £20,000 per underpaid employee.

NHBF president Paul Curry said:

Members tell us they often find the minimum wage complicated and complex to administer, especially because an employee having a birthday can move them on to a different minimum wage rate, and apprentices are paid different amounts at different stages of their training. Salons payroll systems need to be responsive and able to adjust to this happening frequently.

“Although it was reassuring other industries were in the spotlight more than hairdressing in this latest list of names, the government has made it abundantly clear it feels our industry has a long way to go when it comes to improving its record over compliance.

“With it now looking very likely the wage will rise sharply from this autumn, and even if salons don’t like it or are struggling to find this extra cash, all businesses need to recognise paying the minimum wage is the law, and failure to do so comes with stiff penalties, as this latest ‘naming and shaming’ shows.”