Coronavirus furloughed beauty salon employees: your questions answered
Due to their employer’s beauty salon or spa business being forced to close because of coronavirus, many full-time and part-time employed therapists, nail techs and MUAs have been furloughed. But, what exactly does that mean?
The National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) have cleared up any confusion in our furloughed employees Q&A, covering what being a furlough employee means, how you can access money from the Government’s furlough scheme and more.
For any other coronavirus related questions, check out our support guide for beauty salons, spas and self-employed therapists.
10 questions about being a furloughed beauty salon or spa employee answered:
1. What does “furlough” actually mean?
Being furloughed means employees are kept on the payroll even though they aren't working in your beauty salon or spa. The minimum time employees can be furloughed for is three weeks.
2. How does furloughing help my beauty salon/spa business?
If you furlough your employees, the Government will pay you 80% of their wages, up to a maximum of £2,500 per person, per month. The Government will also pay for employer’s National Insurance Contributions and the minimum employer’s pension contributions.
3. How do I apply for the Government’s furlough scheme?
Through HMRC, although the online portal may not be open until the end of April 2020. [Update: this opened on April 20. More information can be found here].
4. Who can be furloughed in my beauty salon/spa business?
All employees – whether they work full-time, part-time or if their hours vary. They must have been on your payroll on or before February 28, 2020.
5. How do I furlough my employees?
If you’re an NHBF member, then you have access to ready-to-use legal letters for your employees. These explain what furlough means and what happens next. If you’re not an NHBF member then you need to take legal advice about furloughing.
6. What can my employees do while on furlough?
While they are on furlough, employees can’t earn money for your business and they can’t provide services to your business. If they do either of these, you will have to pay them for the time they are working for you.
7. What happens to employees’ holiday allowance during furlough?
Employees can’t be on holiday while they are furloughed. You must cancel any holidays employees have booked during furlough and they can take those days back another time when your beauty salon has re-opened.
8. What happens with the Easter bank holiday?
There are two bank holidays coming up over Easter – Friday, April 10, and Monday, April 13. If your employees normally take bank holidays out of their holiday allowance, you must cancel these two days and put the days back into their annual leave pot.
If your employees would normally have been working on a bank holiday, these two days will remain in their holiday allowance.
9. Do holidays build up while employees are furloughed?
Yes. When they return to work they will be entitled to the holiday they built up while they were furloughed.
10. What if everyone wants to take holidays at the same time?
The Government has said that up to four weeks of holidays from this year can be spread over the next two years.
Check out our live PB Webinar with NHBF chief executive Hilary Hall – she answers your other financial questions about coronavirus, including paying VAT and missing rental payments.