Success Stories

Don’t get caught out by the new NMW

If you’re paying your staff less than the minimum wage, watch out. Keep up to date with changes in the NMW – and how SOME politicians want to make it even higher for everyone!

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) went up on 1st October 2014 (see table below). Salons need to be sure they’re paying the correct levels, or they could risk being named and shamed, and paying a hefty fine – as much as £20,000.

The NHF has put together a guide for businesses about the NMW and what employers should check so they’re sure they meet their obligations:

Some MPs are campaigning for the NMW rate to rise even further – to as high as £10 an hour. In response Hilary Hall from the NHF has called on MPs to stop playing politics with the NMW. “Rises in the national minimum wage in labour-intensive, low pay industries such as hairdressing have a big impact on business viability, and therefore on employment,” she said.

The level of pay for apprentices has also come under the spotlight. At the moment the wage for apprentices only applies to trainees aged 16-18 or over 19 in the first year of their apprenticeship, after which they revert to the age 18-20 rate.

A recent NHF survey showed very strong support for a flat rate for apprentices throughout their training, regardless of their age. The NHF claims that the current regime means that older would-be hairdressers, such as those who have stayed in school until age 18, find it much harder to enter the industry. This is because salons are reluctant to take on trainees who will be more expensive in their final training year.

Salons will know that the whole apprenticeship system, and apprenticeship funding, is likely to change in the future. Hairdressing is now a Trailblazer sector for apprenticeship reform and a whole new set of standards is being discussed.

National minimum wage rates from October 1st 2014:

Adults £6.50 up 19p from £6.31

18-20 £5.13 up 10p from £5.03

Under 18 £3.79 up 7p from £3.72

Apprentices* £2.73 up 5p from £2.68

(*under 19s and for first year)