Rt. Hon Alok Sharma MP
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
1 Victoria Street
17 June 2020
I am writing to stress the urgent need for the Government to publish formal guidance regarding close proximity services.
As you will know from our previous meetings and ongoing discussions with your department, the National Hair & Beauty Federation has been proactive in communicating the Government’s latest advice and information to our members and the wider industry.
We have also been a significant contributor to the draft guidelines on ‘Working Safely Guidance – Close Contact Services including Hair and Beauty’. As well as attending a round table meeting with you on 22 May, we have provided continued technical advice to BEIS officials. We put forward a representative selection of salons, barbershops, beauty salons and freelancers to comment on the first draft of the guidelines which were published late on Friday 5 June. With a deadline of 5pm on Monday 8 June, many people from across the industry willingly gave up time to meet the government’s timetable and support these important developments understanding the urgent need to publish guidance. Despite a real sense of progress, we have heard nothing since.
There is growing frustration at the continued delay in publishing these guidelines, preventing hair salons, beauty salons and barbershops from being able to fully prepare their businesses, staff and clients for reopening.
We have written to you previously about urgent need for guidance on PPE in particular. Salons and barbershops have been unable to trade for months, so if they are to make a financial investment in PPE, they need to be confident that they are buying the right materials and they need sufficient time to source supplies.
We understand the latest advice is that these services will not re-open until 4 July at the earliest but businesses need adequate time – ideally two weeks – to redesign their premises, train staff, ensure they have suitable PPE, communicate with clients regarding operational changes, implement adequate hygiene standards, and come to terms with the changes necessary to ensure the safety of themselves and their clients.
We therefore urge you to publish the guidance without any further delay. We are available to provide any support necessary in order to ensure this outcome.
National Hair & Beauty Federation