Your salon or barbershop employees will have legal rights as soon as they accept your offer of employment and turn up for their first day of work – even during their probationary period.

Remember that a verbal offer and acceptance also means that a legal contract is in place (it doesn’t have to be in writing) and your employee’s rights will kick in from day one of their employment.

Bear in mind that part-time and fixed-term workers must be treated the same as a full-time or permanent employee.

Probationary periods are NOT appropriate for apprentices as they are taken on to be trained and therefore have greater protection against dismissal. The NHF/NBF apprenticeship agreements do not include a probationary period for this reason.  

Find out more about selecting and training apprentices.

 

This blog post covers:

Probationary period for salon and barbershop staff

When you take on a new member of staff in your hair/beauty salon or barbershop you will almost certainly employ them on a probationary basis at first.

Contract

NHF Members can download free employee contracts and employee handbooks. NHF contracts specify an initial probationary period of three months which can be extended to six months if necessary. Become an NHF Member today.

 

Use the probationary period wisely. Make time for regular performance reviews, offer constructive feedback and keep records of all feedback given. Proactive performance management early on will help to mould the kind of team player you want your new member of staff to become in the long-term. 

Retain your salon staff

Discover how to recruit the right salon team.

Entitlement to written terms and conditions

When sending out a job offer you do not have to include all the terms and conditions straightaway, but the law says that within two months of their starting date you must give your new employee a written document that includes all the terms and conditions of their job.

However – to avoid uncertainty, it is a good idea to provide your new employee’s full terms and conditions before they begin work in your hair/beauty salon or barbershop.

Full written terms and conditions should include:

• Job title.
• Name of the employer and their address.
• Name of the employee and their address.
• Employee’s start date.
• Length of any probationary period.
• Whether the post is permanent, temporary, part-time or full-time.
• Amount of pay, whether it will be paid weekly or monthly, on what date, and how it will be paid.
• Any benefits such as private health insurance.
• Details about the company’s pension scheme.
• Hours of work.
• The location(s) where the employee will work.
• Annual leave entitlement.
• Sick leave arrangements including pay.
• How much notice must be given when leaving the post.
• Information about disciplinary and grievance procedures, and specifically who any appeal should be made to.

 Terms and conditions

NHF/NBF Members have free 24/7 access to our indispensable employment law telephone helpline. Not yet a Member? To get instant access to this invaluable benefit, join now for less than 75p a day. 

 

GDPR

 

Don't forget: strict data protection rules apply under GDPR. Find out how to stay within the lawdownload our detailed Members-only guide to GDPR. 

National Minimum wage 

Your employee must be paid the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage (if over 25 years old). Find out more about the National Minimum Wage. This includes during their probabionary period.

Guide to National Minimum Wage

Our free expert guide to the NMW and NLW is available to NHF/NBF Members only. It includes detailed information about how the NMW and NLW impact the hair, beauty and barbering industry.

 

Pay slips

You must also give your employees a proper itemised pay slip.

Payslips – changes from April 2019

From April 2019, you must give staff who are classed as ‘workers’ an itemised payslip. Staff who are classed as ‘employees’ are already entitled to itemised payslips. 

In addition, from April 2019, all itemised payslips must also include:

• the total number of paid hours; or
• a breakdown of hours paid for different types of work and/or at different rates of pay.

This is in addition to information such as gross salary, salary after tax, tax, National Insurance contributions and any other deductions.

Find out more about the difference between workers and employees on the GOV.UK website

 

Working hours and breaks 

The law says that most employees – including new employees on probation – should not work more than 48 hours a week. This includes overtime.

Employees under the age of 18 should not work more than 40 hours a week.

(There are exceptions to these rules, but they do not apply to people working in beauty/hair salons or barbershops.)

All employees, including new staff, are legally entitled to rest breaks. For employees aged over 18, these are:

• 20 minutes break if working more than six hours a day.
• 11 hours rest between working days.
• One rest day (24 hours) per working week.

For salon/barbershop employees over school leaving age but under 18, these are:

• 30 minutes break if working more than four hours 30 minutes a day.
• 12 hours between working days.
• Two rest days (48 hours) per week.

Annual leave entitlement: new employees 

Your employee’s annual leave entitlement will start to build up from day one of their employment. You cannot withhold annual leave entitlement until their probationary period is at an end.

However: in the first year you can allow your employee one month’s accrued leave entitlement at a time. So your new employee would have to wait until they have built up enough leave before taking time off.

Very often, a new employee will already have a holiday booked when they start work with you.

The law says that you do not have to allow your new employee to take their holiday. However, you will probably want to avoid the bad feeling that refusing annual leave for a pre-booked holiday would cause.

Try to avoid this situation by finding out at the job offer stage what holiday your new employee is planning.

Annual leave entitlement: permanent employees

UK law says all employees are entitled to paid holiday. Full-time employees are legally entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks’ paid annual leave.

This means that a stylist or therapist who works five days a week should get at least 28 days’ paid annual leave. Part-time employees’ annual leave will be pro rata depending on how many hours/days they work each week.

Unless otherwise stated in the contract or employee handbook, your employee should let you know in plenty of time if they want to take annual leave. For example, if they want one week’s holiday, they should give you at least two weeks’ notice.

NHF/NBF Members can call our friendly membership team for free expert help with annual leave entitlement including working out how much paid holiday your employees are entitled to. 

Annual leave

Maternity and paternity rights 

Your employees will be entitled to maternity and paternity rights.

Find out more about maternity and paternity rights in our blog post.

Workplace pension schemes

If you employ people in your salon or barbershop the law says you must provide a workplace pension. Find out more in our blog post.

Dismissing your salon or barbershop staff

You will have the right to dismiss a new employee if their performance is not good enough to pass the probationary period. You may also consider extending their probationary period. 

From time to time, you will need to deal with a permanent member of staff who is underperforming. Remember that they may be trying to cope with a personal or workplace difficulty which is affecting their performance, so always be sensitive and caring when discussing solutions with them.

If under-performance persists despite your best efforts to sort things out informally, you will need to start formal disciplinary proceedings as set out in your staff handbook. But to avoid potential employment tribunals always get legal advice before taking action. NHF/NBF Members benefit from a free 24/7 HR helpline. Find out more:

Hair salons and barbershops
Beauty salons 

Notice periods

If your employee has worked in your salon or barbershop for at least one month on a continuous basis (but less than two years), you must give them at least one week’s notice that their employment is coming to an end, or the length of notice stated in their contract if different.

Other rights

Other rights will depend on length of service. For example, your employee will need to have completed 26 weeks’ continuous service to request flexible working. Contractual or company benefit schemes may be withheld until the probationary period is complete.

Members can download our flexible working fact sheet.

Checklist

• Employees have rights from day one.
• Part-time and fixed-term employees have the same rights as full-time workers.
• Provide full written terms and conditions within two months – but preferably before employment starts.
• All employees including new staff must be paid the National Minimum Wage.
• You must provide itemised pay slips.
• Working hours and rest break laws apply to all employees.
• Annual leave builds up for new employees from day one.
• Ask in advance what holiday your new employee has booked.
• Your employees will have maternity and paternity rights.
• You must provide a workplace pension scheme.

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