NHF calls for stronger non-compete laws
“Non-compete” restrictions – put in place to protect beauty businesses when a former employee sets up shop in the same area as their previous workplace – are of great importance for many salon owners.
The NHF (National Hairdressers’ Federation) has called for existing clauses to be expanded to further safeguard businesses from facing issues of competition and under-cutting. Currently non-compete clauses, when included in an employee’s contract, can usuallyprohibit them from setting up a new business within half a mile of their former employer’s premises for six months after leaving.
But the NHF says this should be extended to a five-mile radius, stating the importance of client relationships as integral to the successful running of a beauty business, which could be jeopardised by the opening of a rival.
The comments came as part of a call for evidence issued by the Government when assessing non-compete clauses. A formal consultation process will take place after July 19.
NHF president Agnes Leonard said: “Typically the clauses are limited to six months after employment ends and to a radius of half a mile, because that’s what the courts consider ‘reasonable’. We feel a radius of five miles would be more appropriate.”
“Our experience shows that it is too difficult for employers to get an injunction. It’s expensive and slow, and the interpretation of ‘reasonable’ restrictions is too narrow,” chief executive Hilary Hall added.