The NHF Respond to Government Consultation on who is actually Self-Employed

by hjiadmin / last updated July 3, 2018


A government consultation concerning how to decide who is an employee, a worker or genuinely self-employed has been prompted by a rapid growth of self- employment in the ‘gig economy.

Companies such as Uber, Deliveroo and Hermes who are in the political spotlight, claim that those who work for them are self- employed. However, the workers would consider themselves workers therefore entitled to National minimum/ living wage and other benefits.

Research conducted by the NHF shows a rising trend toward self- employment. 57% of stylists and barbers and 54% of beauty therapists are now self employed.

Many of the salons who took part in the April NHF survey commented on unfair competition between salons with self- employed workers and those who employ their own staff and therefore carry those additional costs with 69% expressing that they feel current employment definitions are too loose and can be difficult for small businesses to understand.

Things can get a bit blurry around the concept of control. Those doing freelance work are not normally under anyone else control but is this the same for salons and barber shops? Are the self employed people who work in these establishments really under the control of the business owner?

Some criteria was put forward by the consultation which could offer clarity on if someone is a worker or self employed:

  • How much financial risk is taken by the individual?
  • Is the individual ‘part and parcel’ or ‘an integral part’ of the business?
  • Who provides equipment and other facilities?
  • What is the reality of the relationship between the business owner and the people working for them?
  • How long has the individual worked in a single business in the same role, in other words at what point do they become an employee rather than self-employed or a worker?
  • Do they always work on the same business premises?
  • Does all their Income come from only one source?
  • Do they benefit from collective branding / marketing carried out by the business owners?
  • Is any supervision or training included within the role?

The chief executive at NHF, Hilary Hall said: “The government will now consider all responses and then decide on which measures they want to adopt, although there will be no changes until legislation is passed.”

She continued: “The consequences for the hair and beauty industry could be far-reaching depending on which factors the government decides are true measures of employment status.  The NHF continues to advise salon owners with chair / room renters to have a properly drawn up agreement which sets out exactly how the renting arrangements will work, and to stick to what the agreement says in terms of who is responsible for what.”

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