23 March 2021

This update covers:

  • England: apprenticeship incentives increased.
  • England: Additional Restrictions Grant
  • Scotland: 25 March deadline for apprenticeship grant.
  • Lockdown dates across the four nations.

England: apprenticeship incentives increased 

Incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice in England have been increased. Employers will receive £3,000 for new employees of any age who start their apprenticeship from 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021. 

The incentive payment is in addition to the £1,000 employers already receive for hiring an apprentice aged 16-18 and an apprentice under 25 with an education, health and care plan or who has been in the care of their local authority. Find out more on the government website.

England: Additional Restrictions Grant

The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) provides local councils with grant funding to support businesses in England that are severely impacted by the pandemic.

Local councils decide how much grant they will provide and who will receive it. Mobile and self-employed businesses may be eligible. Find out more on the Government website. 

Scotland: 25 March deadline for apprenticeship grant

The Apprentice Employer Grant is available in Scotland to help recruit new Modern or Graduate Apprentices or to upskill existing employees. Funding is available for eligible employers where the apprenticeship start date was on or after 1 December 2020. Funding is available until this Thursday, 25 March 2021 and applications must be submitted by this date. Find out more on the Scottish Government website

Lockdown dates across the four nations

England: The government published a ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown on 22 February 2021. 

‘Personal care premises’ including hairdressers, salons and close contact services will be allowed to open in step two of the roadmap. Step two will begin at least five weeks after 8 March 2021 (when step one begins) and no earlier than 12 April 2021. 

Saunas and steam rooms cannot open until step 3 of the roadmap which is due to start no earlier than 17 May, and at least five weeks after step 2. Find out more on the government website. Download a pdf of the full roadmap.  

Wales: Wales: first steps out of lockdown

Hair and barbering services were allowed to open by appointment only from Monday 15 March. 

We have asked the Welsh Government if mobile hair and barbering services can also begin work again and are pressing for an urgent answer. The current guidance is not clear. It says: "Appointments that take place in a person’s home should be undertaken only if there is no reasonably practical alternatives".

Beauty businesses (close contact services, which includes nail salons and eyebrow bars) must remain closed. A review on 1 April will consider whether close contact services can reopen on 12 April. 

  • All hair and barbering businesses in Wales, must operate on a strict appointment-only basis.
  • Services that relate to cutting, colouring or styling hair on the head can be provided. This is set out in the latest Welsh coronavirus law.
  • Trimming or shaving facial hair (for example beards, moustaches, or eyebrows) is not permitted.

Read the Welsh Government's guidance for hairdressing and barbering businesses. 

Scotland: Mainland Scotland is currently under lockdown.* 

On 16 March 2021, the Scottish Government announced that hairdressers and barbershops may be able to reopen on 5 April 2021 by appointment only. This will not apply to mobile businesses.

Close contact services including beauty salons and mobile businesses may be able to reopen on 26 April 2021.

The Scottish Government has not yet updated its guidelines for close contact services or stated exactly which services/treatments can be offered from 5 April. We will provide an update when we have more information.

These reopening dates are not definite but will depend on how well the pandemic is being contained in Scotland.

Find out more on the Scottish Government website.

*The only exceptions to the lockdown in Scotland are:

  • Orkney.
  • Shetland.
  • The following islands within Argyll and Bute: Coll, Colonsay, Erraid, Gometra, Iona, Islay, Jura, Mull, Oronsay, Tiree, and Ulva.
  • All islands in Highland, with the exception of Skye. 

In these areas:

  • Salons and barbershops can open.
  • Mobile hairdressing and barbering can operate.
  • Close contact services delivered from a salon, shop or other static site such as a home treatment room can operate. 
  • All other types of mobile close contact services including beauty are not permitted.

Find out more about lockdowns across the four nations

Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland is under lockdown. The current regulations will be reviewed on 15 April 2021. 

From 12 April, contactless click/ phone and collect will be permitted for all non-essential retail businesses.

Find out more on the Northern Ireland Executive website

See all updates