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Hair & Beauty Australia Industry Association


Posted November 18, 2019

We know that Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for salon owners. Everyone gets their brows, facials and blow dry’s done before the Christmas parties and the big day, and this adds a lot of pressure both to you as a salon owner and to your staff to manage the workload. The key to keeping your Christmas spirit this December to make sure that you manage your roster carefully during this period.

It’s important to note first that employees are entitled to 4 weeks annual leave each and every year and can request to take their leave at any time during the year. An employee must request to take annual leave in advance and in writing, and an employer can only refuse an employee’s request for annual leave if the refusal is reasonable. 

 If you’re going to close your business between Christmas and New Year, don’t forget that you have to give your employees a 4-week notice of any salon closure in writing as we previously spoke about. As a HABA member, you can download a template for this Christmas Closure notice here, completely free. The Hair and Beauty Industry Award states that employers can direct their employees to take their annual leave by giving at least four weeks’ notice as part of a close-down of its operations – for example in Christmas closedown periods.

So you don’t end up with all your seniors asking for annual leave for the same 5 days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, we recommend starting the conversation early on about how the roster will balance out and who will be on leave and when.

Salon owners and salon staff can negotiate time off or time in lieu instead of payment for overtime worked, and at Christmas, this is often a strategy used by salon owners who are particularly busy. The amount of time that an employee can take is equivalent to the amount they would have been paid in overtime – for instance, any employee who worked 2 hours overtime at the rate of time and a half is entitled to 3 hour’s time off. This time off must be taken within a 6 month period, but only at a time agreed to by both employer and employee.

If you ARE going to be open the period between Christmas and new year, consider how you approach that conversation with your team. It can be positioned as a trade – those people who got to take Australia Day off last year, for instance, need to work Christmas Eve or those who worked Boxing Day last year can come back on the 28th and get a few extra days with their family. Make sure your team understands this is just part of life in the hair and beauty industry and make sure to be fair and equitable for all.

As far as the number of staff you should have rostered on during the silly season, we do recommend looking at overtime hours for staff, which you can read more about here. A good rule of thumb is to look at whatever your normal roster would be and add about 25% – there will always be last-minute changes, extra appointments, extra time and things you simply cannot factor for. By having the extra team members around you can really foster a festive feeling in salon while accepting this extra work coming your way and turn this period into one of the most profitable of the year. 

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 week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve specifically to ensure that there are no misunderstandings. The last thing you want is a day full of appointments between Christmas and New Year’s Eve to be understaffed, so double check with each staff member that they know which days they need to be in the salon to make sure that your Christmas period is as stress-free as possible this year.

To ensure your salon is compliant and understanding your obligations as an employer, contact Hair & Beauty Australia on 02 9221 9911.

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