SEA Joins Which Industry Confederation?

by chloe / last updated August 5, 2022

SEA Confederation british industry

SEA have been invited to join the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) as the only trade organisation representing the Hairdressing & Beauty sector.

Co-founder Hellen Ward attended the CBI Annual Dinner in London as a guest of corporate member Ignis in May 2022, listening to chairman lord Karan Bilimoria, CBI director general Tony Danker and then-chancellor Rishi Sunak addressing their corporate and trade associations members at their first live event in 2 years.

Hellen subsequently contacted CBI and following a lengthy discussion with Henry Aldridge, head of trade associations, about the work the CBI do with similar organisations in other sectors, the SEA team met with Mohammed Jamei, head of economic projects, to start scoping out the project.

Get social! Follow SEA on Instagram at @salonemployersassociation.

SEA have highlighted to Mo and his team the critical issues facing the industry and they not only recognised the importance of the sector, but the difficulties faced by the VAT, NI & pension-paying employers and the future impact on Apprenticeships should parity with other business models operating on the high street not be reached.

Hellen says: “It was an honour to chat with Lord Bilimoria and discover what CBI can do. Joining the CBI is the best recognition of what we as SEA are all about. This will give us and the industry a direct and undiluted route to the government. We are really excited to be working in partnership with them to achieve our aims and objectives”.

What is SEA?

During the pandemic, Hellen Ward set up a What’s App group with other like-minded salon owners and it became a space for sharing information, protocol and updates. The group supported the Chop the VAT campaign for temporary VAT relief akin to that which was afforded to hospitality but went on to form SOS (Save Our Salons) to lobby for change and longer-term VAT reform.  With the rise in Employers NI and other issues such as safeguarding apprenticeships affecting salons becoming more and more prevalent, it was evident that VAT registered, PAYE salon owners were not being specifically represented by other associations within the sector, so SEA was founded.

For more information about SEA visit

Have you read the NHBF’s latest State of the Industry findings?

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