Make Sure Your Chair Rental Agreements are Watertight, Warns NHF
Last month’s employment tribunal ruling that taxi firm Uber must stop treating its drivers as self-employed and offer them the same rights as employees could have far-reaching implications for the many thousands of hair and beauty salons and barber shops that use self-employed people, the NHF has warned.
The ruling meant Uber lost the right to classify its UK drivers as self-employed, and so should pay them the National Living Wage (or National Minimum Wage if aged under 25) as well as offer paid holiday leave and paid rest breaks.
However, as Uber is expected to appeal against the ruling, the precise legal implications for salons remain unclear, the NHF is cautioning.
NHF chief executive Hilary Hall said:
The Uber case does potentially have significant implications for our industry, in that it has brought all forms of self-employment into the spotlight. The difficulty is, until the legal process has run its course, it is impossible to know precisely what those implications will be.
“But what salons can and should be doing right now is making absolutely sure that they have watertight chair renting agreements or treatment room/space agreements in place which they operate strictly in accordance with what’s written in the agreement.
“One important feature that came out of the Uber case is that it isn’t enough just to have paperwork saying someone is self-employed. What matters – and what will protect a salon – is that you can show you are operating within the strict HM Revenue & Customs definitions of what counts as self-employment.
“The NHF chair renting and treatment room agreements are specifically designed to ensure salon owners meet those criteria. The message for salons and barber shops from this ruling, therefore, is you should put in place an NHF chair renting or treatment room agreement. And, if you already have one, double-check that you are sticking to it to the letter.”