Coronavirus: 28% of UK salons report staff shortages due to Omicron variant

By Helena Biggs | 20 December 2021 | Movers & Shakers, News

empty nail salon

It’s renowned as the busiest time of year for the beauty sector, with clients booking festive nail services, hair cuts or some pre-Christmas pampering. Yet 28% of UK salon businesses have reported disruption to this busy period due to staff shortages and staff needing to self-isolate.

The emergence of the Omicron variant and Plan B measures has seen 28% of businesses polled by the National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) experience staffing challenges, while 73% of respondents have experienced cancellations. 

richard lambert 1“The industry had shown its resilience and was on the path to recovery, but early indications show that that the combination of Omicron and Plan B are having a drastic effect on bookings and footfall in salons,” comments Richard Lambert, NHBF chief executive. “This is during a time when the sector relies heavily on cash generated in December to get through the quieter months of January and February.”

The NHBF’s poll, hosted on Instagram 16-17 December, also revealed that over half (56%) of respondents had seen a reduction in advance bookings.

Lambert continues: “Many of our Members tell us their finances are still finely balanced, and this sudden fall-away could be devastating. This situation is evolving rapidly, but it’s already clear that the government needs to act before it becomes a crisis.

The government needs to provide targeted financial support to help the industry quickly, whether by reallocating existing resources or making new support available. We are also calling for an increase in the 50% discount on business rates for next year and flexibility on repayments of CBILS (Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme) and bounceback loans to offer much needed support to those suffering financial hardship.”