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Hair & Beauty Australia Industry Association


Posted November 27, 2016

Ahhh the annual Christmas break. The stuff that dreams are made of when you are stuck in the end of the year with back to back appointments as everyone gets their locks, brows, nails and facials done before Christmas. You can hear your staff whispering to themselves “just wait until Christmas” under their breath every time they get a ridiculous question and everyone is on edge. But as a salon owner, how do you manage staff during this period? How do you make sure that everyone gets what they need, a bit of a break and some time with their families, without you footing the bill at the end?


As a salon owner, you can shut your salon or spa temporarily for the (typically) slow period between Christmas and New Year. To do this, you need to provide your employees with a 4 week notice of any shutdown in writing, and as a HABA member you can download a template for this notice here, completely free. Easy right?


It’s a good idea to have a chat with your staff about the reasons behind any shutdown, the length of time you will be closed for and that your employees will need to take annual leave during this time. If an employee doesn’t have enough annual leave to cover the shutdown period, you and your staff member can come to an agreement about advanced annual leave or unpaid leave for the time – but you can’t force your employee to take unpaid leave. They have to agree to it.


As a HABA member, you can also download a template letter about taking advanced annual leave in the member’s section of our website – this protects you from liabilities and is one of the easiest ways to reduce your risk if you choose this option. Advanced annual leave, if done correctly, is often the easiest way to come to an agreement in the instance that your employee doesn’t have enough annual leave to cover your shutdown period, so we do recommend this course of action.


For Australians, the Christmas and New Year period is awash with public holidays, particularly in 2016 where Christmas falls on a Sunday. Therefore, over Christmas and New Year, the 25th (except Victoria), the 26th, the 27th of December, 1st and 2ndof January will be considered as public holiday days, not days of annual leave.  South Australia has a part-day public holiday from 7pm to midnight on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. If your salon isn’t having a shutdown period, then you just need to be aware that either you pay public holiday penalty rates for your staff on the dates above, or your salon can be closed on those particular dates instead.


Before everyone goes off and gets into a merry spirit on in your last week before Christmas, make sure that you talk to your staff about rosters over the weeks after Christmas Day specifically to ensure that there is no confusion for anyone. The last thing you want is a day full of appointments between Christmas and New Years Eve to be understaffed, so double check with everyone that they know which days they need to be in the salon.


This time of the year is a time for everyone to spend with family, to relax and recharge ahead of what is sure to be another busy year. So be prepared and do your homework so the Christmas period is relaxing for everyone involved.

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