New Developments In the Fight Against Exploitation in Hair Salons
The government has issued a response following the Labour Market Enforcement Strategy recommendations that were given in May 2018. The majority of the recommendations were accepted, including a commitment to cracking down on exploitation in hair salons.
National Hairdressing Federation chief executive Hillary Hall says she feels encouraged by the support for ‘good employers’ and a commitment to tackling employers who knowingly underpay and exploit their workers. She says: “The report promises improved guidance on the National Minimum Wage/National Living Wage, particularly for problem areas such as pay averaging.”
The scheme will also see naming and shaming of employers with the average arrears per worker for each employer that has been named. Tools for increased awareness about why specific sectors see under-payment will also be provided in the form of case studies. And from April 2019, employers will need to provide a payslip to every worker and for hourly paid workers, these payslips must include the total hours worked and their rate of pay.
Other measures include legislation to:
- Empower HMRC to enforce holiday pay and recover holiday pay arrears.
- Require employers to provide employees with a statement of principal rights from the very start of their employment.
- ‘Phoenixing’, where directors dissolve companies in a bid to avoid paying penalties will be tackled, improving the chances of workers being paid what they are owed.
Nail bar update
The government partially rejected a recommendation to pilot a licensing scheme which would tackle modern slavery in nail bars. However, the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority will carry out scoping. This is likely to take place in the Greater Manchester area. The scoping will measure the threat of modern slavery in nail bars to assess wether a licensing scheme would help eradicate organised crime groups who exploit workers with threats, debt bondage and withhold travel documents to control workers.