Above-inflation rise in the National Minimum Wage could cost industry

Chancellor George Osbourne has called to raise the National Minimum Wage above inflation prices, to help assist those on a low income.

However, there are fears from industry association the National Hairdressers’ Federation (NHF), this sharp rise could prove to be very damaging on the labour-intensive industry, such as beauty and hairdressing.

If implemented, by 2015, workers over the age of 21 would see their pay rise from £6.31 an hour to £7.

Beauty and hairdressing salons rely heavily on the high street to bring in its customers, and the NHF believe with the current state of the high street it is tough to gain more.

Hilary Hall, chief executive of the National Hairdressers Federation, said: “An above-inflation rise will simply make a difficult situation even worse and be the difference between some salons surviving or having to close.

“We urge the Low Pay Commission to set a future rate for the wage that recognises the continuing need for wage restraint while our economic recovery remains fragile.”

With this rise, employers may be more reluctant to take on youngsters, making it even more difficult for young people to break into the industry.

The national minimum wage is set at varying hourly rates based on age or whether an employee is an apprentice.

The rates are currently:

•           21 and over: £6.31

•           18 to 20:  £5.03

•           Under 18: £3.72

•           Apprentice: £2.68