Government officials have warned the industry trade body, NHBF, that they will close the hair and beauty sector if they don’t follow safety guidelines.
In reaction, NHBF has launched #DoItRight – a campaign to ensure hair and beauty professionals across the UK understand exactly what is required of them to keep working and reduce the risk of further restrictions or lockdowns.
The NHBF has stressed how important it is for everyone in the hair, beauty and barbering industries to follow the guidelines and operate in a Covid-secure way to protect yourselves, your employees, clients and to protect the industry from being locked down again.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has issued a statement to the NHBF which says all businesses are at risk of receiving formal action from local authorities if they are not following their risk assessments. Failure to comply with an enforcement notice from a local authority officer can lead to prosecution in the criminal courts and penalties including fines or up to two years’ imprisonment.
In England, the main points that people need to remember are:
- Wearing a visor – the guidelines which were updated on 14 August now say you must also wear a Type II face mask for extra protection
- Using a booking-only system and maintaining social distancing in the workplace
- Frequent washing of hands
- Using screens, back to back/side to side working
- Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and tools, especially after each client
- Contacting clients before appointments to check if clients have Covid symptoms, in which case they must cancel
- Displaying the COVID 19 Secure notice in a prominent place
Although they’ve just been given the go-ahead to reopen, the NHBF has already seen the date for beauty treatments on the face in England delayed to 15 August. Restrictions can be re-introduced if rises in the ‘R’ (infection) rate continue or if the industry does not follow the guidelines.
The rules are slightly different in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but they apply to everyone working in hair and beauty: hairdressers, barbers, nail technicians, beauty therapists, eyebrow and eyelash professionals and beauty aesthetics practitioners, including mobile workers in hair and beauty.
Employers are legally responsible for the health and safety of their workers and others affected by their business, including clients, contractors, etc. This means employers must complete an assessment of the risks around Covid-19 along with any other risks and take actions to manage them.
Generally, people working in the hair and beauty industry have been doing everything they can to correctly follow the guidance but there is on-going evidence of professionals not wearing the correct PPE, not adhering to social distancing, and still operating walk-in services.
Anyone who has concern about a business not following the correct guidelines should call their local authority or Trading Standards. You can find your local authority here: https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council.
Regional outbreaks of the virus have popped up around the U.K. which has meant local lockdown measures have had to return, including the closure of businesses. Local authorities have been given additional powers to close businesses where the rules aren’t being followed.
Hilary Hall, chief executive of the NHBF says: “We have worked hard to ensure hair and beauty salons, barbershops and individual professionals can get back to work but because some are failing to follow the guidelines, they are putting the whole industry at risk.
“We’ve launched our #DoItRight campaign to help hair and beauty businesses across the UK understand the guidelines that apply in their part of the country.
“The last thing any of us want is to face further restrictions, further lockdowns or a second spike in coronavirus infections. The impact on our industry would be devastating.
“Please do your bit to help and show you’re putting the industry first as well as protecting the safety of your teams and your clients.”
The full Safer Workplace guidelines are available to view in full at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/close-contact-services