21 August 2017

In response to the government’s ‘naming and shaming’ of around 60 hair and beauty employers who have underpaid staff by roughly £121,000, the NHBF has said:

"We are disappointed that around 60 employers from the hair and beauty sector were ‘named and shamed’ in the government’s most recent list of 233 employers who have been found to underpay staff. The NHBF does not condone under-payment of the National Minimum Wage which has been a legal requirement for some year now.  Indeed, we have actively worked with HMRC on a campaign to help hairdressing, barbering and beauty employers identify the most common reasons for inadvertently under-paying their staff and to put things right.

The national minimum wage tiers

Many people assume that there is one National Minimum Wage, but in fact there are 4 tiers depending on the age of the employee, with the National Living Wage creating a fifth tier for those aged 25 or over. In addition, the rate for apprentices varies depending not only on age, but how far through their apprenticeship training programme they are. As they are doing the same job, we have long been calling for apprentices to be paid at the same rate, regardless of age, to reduce the confusion over apprenticeship rates of pay.

The NHBF’s support

Further, over the past 16 months there has been the introduction of the new National Living Wage in April 2016, then an increase to the National Minimum Wage in October 2016, which was followed by yet another round of increases to both rates in April this year.

93% of hair and beauty businesses are micro-businesses, run by an owner-operator who is responsible for HR and payroll. The NHBF provides invaluable support and advice, handling 20,000 calls a year and providing a round the clock employment law and HR helpline, with specialist advice on payroll, tax and VAT at the end of a phone. But if major companies like Argos can get it wrong, isn’t it time we asked whether the current system is too complicated?”