In their latest political reaction, the Hair and Barber Council have expressed extreme concern for the Chancellor’s autumn statement, particularly regarding the effect it will have on the hairdressing sector.
With the industry already struggling from the aftermath of COVID lockdowns and the Cost of Living crisis, the added mayhem of a disappointing Autumn Budget – as released on 17th November – has triggered many members of the council to become seriously worried about the future of their businesses. The Chancellor’s decision to increase National Minimum Wage, as well enforce greater employer overheads and energy costs, is predicted to force the industry’s underground market to expand even further.
Whilst all employers ideally want to retain staff, invest their finances and develop their businesses, costs continue to rise to an unsustainable level; many salons have yet to even return to pre-COVID revenues. As a result of these rising employment costs and lack of Government support, many of the industry’s 16 to 18-year-old Apprentices will be forced out of work and potentially onto benefits.
The Hair and Barber Council proposes the following actions in order for the industry to survive and prosper:
- Suspend business rates to help with high energy costs – include the Personal Care sector and offer high discounts to high street salon/barbers.
- Give the sector a VAT cut to level-up the playing field.
- Introduce HMRC time to pay for industries still plagued with COVID debts.
- Support Apprenticeship costs for salon employers and an Apprenticeship furlough scheme.
- Convert Bounce Back Loans / Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans into cost-free grants.
- HM Treasury to meet with The Hair and Barber Council – and other organisations – to discuss the critical issues afflicting the industry.
- Government to pay Statutory Sick Pay for small businesses, due to the ongoing impact of COVID absences
- Make regulation mandatory to prevent rogue traders, protecting consumers and the professional sector.
Go to the websit