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Why salon owners need PROTECTION in business.

Posted May 10, 2022

No one likes to talk about it, but things go wrong in a salon environment. In a workplace where we are dealing with chemicals, clients’ faces and hair, and our work hours and rates are far from simple, mistakes get made. This is just part of life, and particularly life as a salon owner, but what protection do you have in place if one mistake suddenly becomes front-page news, or a case in the Fair Work Commission?


More and more often we see salon owners take the attitude of ‘I don’t need protection for my business, I’m doing everything right’ – and that is simply not a guarantee. If a staff member has a different idea about their rights and privileges and believes that you have mistreated them in some way, they will go after you legally. We see it happen time and time again, and it can be absolutely disastrous both for you personally and for your business.


Recently the Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a total of $29,970 in penalties in court against cosmetic injectables and a skin clinic in Sydney and its director, for failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring the back-payment of entitlements to a worker employed at the clinic. The Court has also ordered the clinic director to back pay the worker in full after the regulator investigated the clinic having received a request for assistance from the affected worker.


While you as a business owner may believe that you have acted in line with your obligations to your employees, and while we believe that most salon owners don’t set out to do the wrong thing, you can still be taken to court where you need to prove that you have been compliant in all aspects of your business, from training to staff wages. That process is likely to be highly stressful, and undoubtedly expensive, and while you may believe you have done the right thing, there is no guarantee that you won’t get caught on a technicality in this deeply invasive legal proceeding.


In this ever-changing wage landscape, we have already seen the Award change twice this year in regards to the payment of Casual Workers on weekends.


So what can salon owners do to protect themselves and their businesses?


HABA is committed to supporting and protecting our members by providing them with up-to-date advice based on an intimate knowledge of our industry standards and the Hair and Beauty Award 2010. Our legal team at Ai Group are dedicated workplace lawyers, meaning that their in-depth knowledge of the award and the obligations contained therein is second to none. We provide our members with all the documentation required for a salon owner to ensure their legal and regulatory compliance, and this along with our Advice Line is one of the major benefits of a HABA membership.


Just remember, ignorance of the law is not a defence.


If you’re not already a member and are thinking that things will be fine if you just keep going the way you are, just ask yourself this: what would YOU do if one of your employees took you to court? Could you afford nearly $30,000 in penalties? Who would support you, and where would you turn for advice?



For advice on this topic or any other workplace relations matter, call the HABA Advice Line on 02 9221 9911.


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