24 May 2022

Latest NHBF update – 24 May 2022

This week's update covers:

  • The Low Pay Commission Publishes: The National Living Wage Review (2015-2020)
  • Low Pay Commission wages survey – your views, please
  • Low Pay Commission regional visits
  • Inflation hits new heights
  • Supercharge your business growth
  • Apprenticeship webinars: Several recordings available
  • Small employers survey 
  • T Level webinars
  • Paper £20 and £50 deadline reminder 

The Low Pay Commission Publishes: The National Living Wage Review (2015-2020)

The Low Pay Commission (LPC) has now published its review of the National Living Wage from 2015-2020. You can read the review and its headline findings on their website here.

The announcement of the National Living Wage in 2015 heralded a new era for minimum wages in the UK. The policy aimed to increase pay and productivity without harming jobs while reducing spending on benefits. This review collects the evidence on the NLW's achievements from 2016 up to April 2020, when the National Living Wage reached the Government's initial target of 60% of median earnings.

The review finds that while the NLW increased wages and did not reduce employment, the increase in earnings did not lead to higher incomes and did not measurably improve productivity. Nevertheless, the growth in earnings helped reduce regional pay inequality and contributed to shrinking gender and ethnicity pay gaps. After the introduction of the NLW, minimum wage workers were less likely to move employers but continued to progress into higher-paid roles at the same rate as previously.

Alongside the review, the LPC has also published a more detailed paper on the impact of NLW on productivity which you can also access here.


Low Pay Commission wages survey – your views, please

The Low Pay Commission (LPC) is the body which makes recommendations to the Government about future increases to the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage. The most recent increases took effect in April, despite serious cost pressures on business.

If you have employees or apprentices, the NHBF want to know if and how this will affect your business and what effect future rises might have.

Your views are crucial in helping give a clear picture of our sector. The NHBF will use your response to supplement a recent skills survey and our quarterly state of the industry surveys:

Your responses are strictly confidential.

The survey will take less than 5 minutes to complete and closes on Wed 25 May at 5pm.


Low Pay Commission regional visits

To find out more about how the minimum wage has affected businesses, the Low Pay Commission will be visiting regions across the UK. If any Members are interested in speaking to the commissioners at any of the following locations, please get in touch with the NHBF enquiries team at enquiries@nhbf.co.uk 

15-16 June Conwy and Llandudno

6-7 July Hastings and Rother

3-4 August Derry


Inflation hits new heights

Figures from the ONS show that producer input price inflation hit a record-high 18.6%, and the consumer prices index reached 9% in April.

Responding to the news, Rosina Robson, Director of Policy and Public Affairs, National Hair & Beauty Federation

“The latest NHBF quarterly State of the Industry results show that businesses in the sector are not yet out of the woods. Confidence levels are at July 2021 levels and the signs of positivity from September have not yet returned. This is because businesses are experiencing a ‘perfect storm’ of rising energy costs, supply price inflation and increases to National Minimum Wage/National Living Wage (NMW/NLW) and National Insurance Contributions (NICs). In terms of direct impact on the business, there is most concern about energy costs (86%), increased cost of trade suppliers (70%), increases to NICs (46%) and increases to NMW/NLW (44%). The rising rate of inflation will have effect on all of these.

“According to our report when asked what they (salons) are doing in response to these rising costs, the most common actions include putting up prices (72), removing any non-essential expenditure (62%), reducing costs/making cost efficiencies (42%) and reducing energy usage (39%). Some are also holding off taking on new staff/apprentices (38%).”


Supercharge your business growth 

Small and medium-sized businesses across the UK can now access free and impartial online support to see how digital technology can boost their business performance. 

Eligible businesses can also apply for a discount of up to 50% off the purchase of approved software from a range of leading technology suppliers, worth up to £5,000. 

With many businesses needing to adapt the way they do business during the pandemic, the Government's support through Help to Grow: Digital will help them improve their productivity and take the next step to grow. 

Visit Help to Grow: Digital today.

Sign up for an online event where you will learn more about the schemes and how we can work together in promoting the excellent Help to Grow offer. You can register for a place HERE for events on 24, 25 & 26 May. 

Here is a list of upcoming cohorts by business school and region. You can go to the following site to register for upcoming courses. Find a course


Apprenticeship webinars: Several recordings available

Watch a recorded webinar from Skills Development Scotland. Topics include 'Apprenticeships work for your business through to 'Making Apprenticeships work in a changing labour market'.

Watch videos here.


Small employers survey

HMRC's Small Business Mindsets project seeks to understand the whole journey of small businesses consisting of 1-49 employees to discover how HMRC's services can be better tailored to their needs. The survey can be found here.


T Level webinars

The Department for Education is holding a series of webinars for employers on how T Levels can help their business, with The role of the line manager and mentor - hosting young people in the workplace on 31 May.


Paper £20 and £50 deadline reminder

The Bank of England reminds businesses that they should prepare for the imminent withdrawal of paper £20 and £50 notes by training staff, updating systems, and ensuring any paper notes have been banked by the end of September.