29 July 2015

The NHBF has been warning salon owners since the beginning of the year, but the campaign is finally here.  From today HM Revenue & Customs will be actively targeting salon and barbershop owners who may be paying less than the National Minimum Wage.

It’s no secret that the hairdressing, beauty and barbering industry has the worst reputation for failing to pay the correct wage.  Because of this HMRC is pushing ahead with this very significant, targeted campaign.  The first stage of their campaign is to offer help, advice and penalty-free opportunities for employers who have not been paying the correct wage – provided they report it and put it right.

Today Jennie Granger, Director General of Enforcement and Compliance at HMRC said: “This innovative campaign is about helping employees who have been underpaid get the money they are legally due, back in to their pockets. It will help them understand where they can report under-paying employers confidentially. It is also about helping employers check if they are making mistakes, and self- correct if they are.”

The NHBF’s experience in handling thousands of calls on the National Minimum Wage shows that the most common errors are made with apprentices as rates vary depending on age and at different stages of training. Many employers are also not aware of what they are allowed to deduct from wages, for example for uniforms or for accommodation, and many remain unaware that using tips to top up pay to the national minimum has been illegal since 2009.

NHBF chief executive Hilary Hall said:


“The NHBF has been working with HMRC to ensure salon owners get a fair deal and have the opportunity to put right any underpayments. We have created a new guide just on the National Minimum Wage, so now’s the time to get our industry’s pay in order.  Once the campaign has ended, HMRC will be throwing the book at salon owners who continue to break the law by paying less than the minimum wage. Ignorance will not be an excuse."

Paul Curry, NHBF President said: “We cannot keep carrying around this reputation of being a poorly paid industry if we want to encourage young talent to enter our industry.  Successful salons know that without a good team, their business will fail.  The national minimum wage is just that – a minimum – so salons which can afford to do so should be rewarding their staff with properly structured pay scales and clear incentives for achieving targets which will not only increase earnings but also help the business grow.

The NHBF’s new National Minimum Wage guide for members includes details of the rates now and new rates in October. It features scenarios to address common errors, especially on apprenticeships, such as the age of the apprentice, the stage they’ve reached on their apprenticeship programme, the type of contract or deeds available, what’s in an apprenticeship framework, what happens if apprentices complete their programme earlier or later than expected or progress onto another apprenticeship, all backed up with expert advice from the NHBF team on 01234 831965.

More information can also be found on the GOV website at www.gov.uk/nmwcampaign