Don’t be caught out by April’s minimum wage rises, warns the NHF

By Kat Hill | 10 April 2018 | Expert Advice, Feature

The rise of the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage rates on April 1 2018 will impact hair, beauty and barber businesses up and down the country.  The NHF, a salon trade association that supports the industry, is urging employers to check staff are being paid at the right rates and to take advice before making deductions from wages.

The new rates are set as:

Year25 and over21 to 2418 to 20Under 18Apprentice
April 2017£7.50£7.05£5.60£4.05£3.50
April 2018£7.83£7.38£5.90£4.20£3.70


Employers who don’t pay at the right rates are breaking the law and face the consequences which include staggering fines of up to £20,000 per underpaid worker, as well as back-payments and public ‘naming and shaming’ by the government, the association adds. “Deductions from pay, for any reason, is a tricky area and you should always take legal advice before doing so, even if your employees agree to deductions being made,” explains Hilary Hall, chief executive of the NHF.  “If such deductions take a team member below the minimum wage, then you’re breaking the law.  That’s why the NHF contracts don’t allow you to make deductions to cover the cost of uniforms, tools and equipment.

“And you can’t require employees to buy or supply uniform, even if you haven’t actually deducted the cost from their pay. HMRC will still consider the cost of items which employees have to supply as a deduction from wages for the purposes of calculating minimum wages.”

The HF states business owners should take the following steps:

  • Check which staff will be eligible for the National Living Wage
  • Ensure staff under 25 are on the correct National Minimum Wage rate for their age
  • Check that apprentices aged 19 or over who are in their second year of an apprenticeship are paid at the age-related rate, not the apprenticeship rate
  • Update payroll ASAP
  • Tell staff about any changes to their pay and get them to check they are being paid correctly

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