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4th July: UK Independence Day?

4th July: UK Independence Day?

Hair salons in lots of nations throughout Europe expertise the enjoyment and pleasure of their grand re-opening after weeks of compelled closure; in the meantime the hair trade within the UK wallows in a state of ambiguity and uncertainty. by Gary Kelly.

The waters have been a little bit uneven over the previous few days. After virtually 7 weeks of lockdown, all of us waited with keen anticipation to seek out out what Boris Johnson’s blueprint for a return in direction of ‘a brand new regular’ would possibly seem like. The response got here in a pre-recorded broadcast on Sunday that was blunt, but muddled and confused and which lacked any form of readability in anyway. The state of affairs started to look clearer on Monday, when a 50-page doc was printed setting out a roadmap in direction of gradual easing of the lockdown in England, which, relying on these notorious 5 exams being met, would see major faculties, nurseries and outlets partially reopening from 1 June onwards.

Ready Recreation for Hair Salons

The development in a lot of the Eurozone has been to see hair salons reopening in one of many earliest phases of the loosening of the lockdown. Already in Germany, Switzerland, Spain and a number of other different nations in Europe, salons are up-and-running. France and Italy are actually following go well with – all in fact topic to restrictions and laws which fluctuate within the element from nation to nation, however that are targeted in substance on frequent sense mutual respect for each other, alongside practices pertaining to private hygiene and safety.

These of us with a watch on the state of affairs in Europe due to this fact thought that the identical would apply within the UK, with hairdressers being among the many first companies to reopen. It was due to this fact one thing of a physique blow to all of us to listen to First Secretary of State, Dominic Raab, reveal that they will no longer open till 4th July on the earliest: “From four July, on the earliest, we’ll have a look at different sectors and that can embrace hospitality, however it can additionally embrace private care and folks like hairdressers,” he advised Sky Information’ Kay Burley.

Trade Response 

The choice to delay salon reopenings till early July signifies that by the point they do open, they’ll have been closed for nearly three-and-a-half months. The response by UK professionals has, on the entire, been a mix of anger and contempt, significantly as, relating to the reopening schedules, hair salons appear to have been grouped with leisure companies equivalent to eating places and bars, reasonably than as knowledgeable companies. “How can hairdressing be classed in the identical sector because the leisure companies,” feedback Tony Rizzo, Sanrizz & Founding father of Various Hair Present. “Skilled salons are much more protected than these companies we now have been grouped with beneath Private Companies. Even earlier than the lockdown as fundamental process – we at Sanrizz had security measures in place. Purchasers had been seated two metres aside, masks had been worn, each robes  and towels had been bagged for every particular person consumer and all tools sterilised after consumer.  On returning to our salons, all our workers may have the important Private Safety Gear to make sure each their and their shoppers’ security. By extending the lockdown we’re giving freelance hairdressers the chance to danger folks’s lives and wreck our companies.” Errol Douglas MBE, feels the trade is being proven a whole lack of respect by the federal government: We as skilled hairdressers contribute a staggering £2 billion to the financial system;  we additionally make use of an enormous variety of folks,” he explains. “Persons are crying out for hairdressing companies – you solely want to change on the tv or take heed to the radio to listen to how a lot. I need to get folks again to work once more and to should ponder that we could not return till the late summer season  is unthinkable. We’re presumably one of the hygienic professions on the earth and sure, we do wash our fingers after each consumer and sure, we at all times have performed, each consumer will get a brand new robe and at all times has performed. We’ve additionally educated for 5 years plus to be able to know find out how to take care of folks and may be relied upon to come back again and do it effectively.”  

Workers Retention 

On the plus facet, we realized yesterday from Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, that the federal government’s furlough scheme is to be prolonged from the end-of-June to the end-of-October and saved on the present charge of 80% of salaries as much as £2,500 per thirty days. Excellent news for workers and employers alike, particularly as, from July, the scheme will incorporate the choice for a part-time return to work, with the federal government and the employer sharing the burden of the payroll. Nevertheless, most official sources in our trade estimate that 60% of UK hairdressers are freelance, making them ineligible for the federal government’s furlough scheme. Whereas some self-employed staff who’re presently unable to work are eligible to assert the Self-employment Earnings Help Scheme providing 80% of common month-to-month earnings as much as £2,500 per thirty days, many freelancers in our trade have fallen by the web, or have discovered that their entitlement by the Self-employment Earnings Help Scheme is considerably minimal. Moreover,  there was no announcement as as to whether the scheme might be prolonged for the self-employed past June.

We’re due to this fact in a little bit of a ‘wait and see’ state of affairs. Some nations in Europe did obtain authorities directives that hair salons would open on a sure date after which that date was introduced ahead when a correct evaluation was subsequently made from how Private Safety and Social Distancing measures might be carried out. Let’s all hope the identical will apply to the United Kingdom and reopening day seems to be considerably sooner than the 4th of July!

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