29 September 2015

Hairdressers, salons and barber shops are being reminded that National Minimum Wage rates are set to rise sharply from this Thursday, 1 October.

With HM Revenue & Customs currently actively targeting the industry with an enforcement and compliance campaign, salons simply can’t afford not to pay their staff their correct minimum wage, the NHBF has warned.

All the minimum wage rates are set to rise from 1 October as follows:

*The apprentice wage is for apprentices aged 16-18, or aged 19 or over in the first year of an apprenticeship, after which they go onto age-related or adult rates.

As well as the industry being targeted by HMRC, fines for non-compliance went up from May this year, rising from a maximum of £20,000 in total to £20,000 per underpaid employee.

The government has promised an even tougher enforcement regime next year when the new, compulsory National Living Wage for workers aged 25 or over is brought in from April 2016. The penalty for non-payment will be double the amount owed, unless payment is made within 14 days. Employers who are held to be deliberately breaking the law face the prospect of a criminal prosecution and possible disqualification from being a company director.

NHBF president Paul Curry said:

Now’s the time to double check your payment processes to make absolutely sure your staff are being paid their rightful wage. It is important your system can adjust an employee’s wage when they have a birthday that takes them on to a new rate, or when they have finished their first year of apprenticeship training if they are aged 19 or over. Our key message for salons is: don’t get caught out this Thursday”.

The National Living Wage will require companies to pay employees aged 25 and over a wage of £7.20 an hour from April 2016, with the government aiming to raise it to £9 an hour by 2020.

The NHBF’s A Guide to the National Minimum Wage is available to members at nhf.info/nhf-guides