On Thursday, in a virtual panel session, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing heard from industry representatives on the devastating impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on the sector and what urgent Government support it needs to weather the crisis.
Panellists from industry associations representing hair, beauty, spa and wellness business, and salon owners, spoke of the crippling impact of the lockdown which has brought many businesses in the industry, including all salons on our high streets, to a complete halt. They also expressed concerns about how to keep employees and customers safe once salons begin to reopen their doors, particularly given the close client contact involved in many treatments.
The MPs questioned the industry on what support is needed to help businesses reopen as restrictions are eased. Today the APPG is issuing Government with a ‘Call to Action’ to support the long-term health of the industry. It calls on Government to:
- Provide clear instructions and advance warning on when beauty and wellness business can reopen and what treatments they can offer, including for services within hospitality businesses such as hotels, and what grades of PPE must be used.
- Ensure industry access to affordable PPE, being crucial to protect staff and customers.
- Provide clarification on the future of the Job Retention Scheme and how the Government will continue to support both small and large businesses in the industry as restrictions are eased.
- Crack down on the emergence of the black market of rogue operators continuing to sell services behind closed doors risking public health, and how to report non-compliance.
- Better protect against risks of modern slavery as businesses reopen.
Co-Chairs of the APPG, Carolyn Harris MP and Judith Cummins MP, said:
“The industry has expressed loud and clear the urgent need for clarity on when businesses can reopen and for consistent rules on PPE use. Without this, the long-term repercussions of the pandemic could leave many businesses with no choice but to close their doors for good.
“This is not only necessary to ensure the survival of an industry in crisis which contributes £6.6bn to the UK’s economy. Beauty salons are the beating heart of our high streets up and down the country and play a crucial role in supporting the mental and physical wellbeing of local communities.
“Today we are issuing a Call to Action urging Government to set out when each part of the sector can re-open, what specific measures must be in place to protect employees and customers, and how they will support businesses to implement these.”
You can watch the full session here.