2 September 2015

The vibrant and relaxed atmosphere treasured by salons can often be their downfall as the NHBF continues to receive calls from salon owners who have got into disputes with employees and have no contract in place to fall back on.

Having a contract keeps salon owners protected

Contract-less may mean defence-less if you end up at an employment tribunal. By law employees are entitled to a written statement of basic terms, which can be incorporated into a more detailed contract of employment if the employer wishes, within eight weeks of taking up a post. However it’s best if they receive this on the first day, or even before, and they return a signed copy before starting the job.

Avoid downloading a contract from the internet or using one written for a different industry.  These can often be out of date or irrelevant for your business.  One of the first things a dismissed employee’s solicitor will check is the contract.

“You need something which is both legal and relevant for your salon” said NHBF chief executive Hilary Hall.

“Even the smallest salon is still a business. It makes sense to have a formal contract to give you peace of mind and greater protection when you’re employing staff.  The same applies to renting out chairs or treatment rooms, you need a contract to establish the boundaries of the relationship and outline the expectations of both parties.”

What a contract should include

A written employment contract will clearly set out the terms and conditions under which the employee is employed and, by signing it, it shows they have agreed to those terms and are bound by them. Salon owners should make sure contracts are up to date, and with the new rules around pensions it’s the perfect time to review them and add in details of pension arrangements.

A contract of employment imposes a series of legal duties on both the employer and the employee. It should include notice periods, probationary period, as well as  the obvious details such as the names of the employer and employee, start date, pay arrangements, job title, place and hours of work, holiday entitlement, sick pay arrangements and disciplinary procedures.

Contracts safeguard the salon and the staff and will cover areas such as the Working Time Regulations which include obligations in relation to working hours, breaks, holiday entitlement and also for younger workers where the law provides more stringent requirements on breaks, working hours and days. Employees on fixed-term or part-time contracts must not be given less favourable terms than those given to comparable permanent employees without a very good reason.

Where to get a contract from

The NHBF’s employee contracts, chair renting and treatment room contracts come free with NHBF membership, giving your business an immediate financial and competitive advantage over your rivals. These can be downloaded by members or ordered by calling 01234 831965.