How the Conservative and Labour wage policies could impact your salon
With an impending Brexit and the possibility of a General Election, both the Conservative and Labour parties have released their proposals for wage increases and changes to workers’ rights if they gain leadership.
But what do these proposed changes mean for salon and spa owners? Well, both parties are looking to bring in big changes, especially on the wages front, which are going to affect small-to-medium-sized businesses.
We outline what each party is proposing and how it will affect you.
Both parties are looking to increase the minimum wage but for different age groups.
The Conservative Party will increase the National Living Wage (NLW) to £10.50 for 21-year-olds and over within five years, while the Labour Party said it will increase NLW to £10 for 16-year-olds and over in 2020.
See how this compares with the current National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage.
Workers’ rights – what the Conservative Party are proposing
- Employers providing more support to get people with disabilities or long-term health conditions back into work, which could include phased returns, workplace modifications to meet the needs of disabled employees, seeking occupational health advice and other steps before an employee could be fairly dismissed on the grounds of ill health.
- Increasing the qualifying threshold for statutory sick pay (SSP), which is currently £118 per week, to bring more employees into scope, particularly part-time workers. Employers will have to provide written information from day one on eligibility for sick leave and pay. There are also proposals to give small businesses a sick pay rebate for those who manage employees on sick leave and successfully get them back into work.
- Additional parental leave rights to help parents combine childcare and work and for parents of babies which need neonatal care after birth.
- Encouraging employers to consider if jobs can be done flexibly and, for employers with more than 250 employees, to publish their family-related leave, pay and flexible working policies.
Workers’ rights – what the Labour Party is proposing:
- Ending zero-hour contracts and banning unpaid internships.
- Employers would take part in ‘sectoral collective bargaining’ where trade unions and employers would negotiate agreements on minimum terms, conditions and standards on a sector-by-sector basis
- Establishing a Ministry for Employment Rights and a Workers’ Protection Agency to enforce rights, standards and protections.
- Create a single status of ‘worker’ for everyone apart from the genuinely self-employed.
With trade bodies across the beauty, spa, food, retail and hospitality forces having already joined forces to call for changes in Government immigration and wage increase policies as Brexit looms, these new proposed policies by the Labour and Conservative parties have been met with mixed reviews.
“Both parties are focused on protecting workers’ rights, but there hasn’t been enough recognition that these policies mean employers will have further costs to absorb,” said Hilary Hall, chief executive of the National Beauty Federation (NBF) and National Hairdressers’ Federation (NHF).
“At present, businesses wanting to reduce their costs can switch to self-employment, but that leaves the salons who employ their staff at a huge financial disadvantage compared to those who don’t employ anyone. We have written to all three [of the] main parties calling for them to come up with a clear definition on what ‘genuine self-employment’ means as a matter of urgency.”