How will the increase in the real living wage affect barbers?

real living wage barbers
The real living wage rates for 2020-21 have been announced as £9.50 in the UK, rising by 20p, and £10.85 in London, an increase of 10p – but how will it impact barbers?

The real living wage is separate from the statutory National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage, and is set by the Living Wage Foundation, not the government. In fact, employers pay it voluntarily.

The rate is 78p per hour more than the government minimum wage (for over 25s) and the London Living Wage is £2.13 per hour higher. A full-time worker paid the new £9.50 real living wage will receive over £1,500 in additional wages annually compared to the current government minimum. For a full-time worker in London this figure rises to over £4,000.

Richard Lambert, Chief Executive of the National Hair & Beauty Federation says: “Support for hair and beauty professionals with an increase in the real living wage is always welcome but it has to be implemented with consideration for employers – salon owners who have already endured a huge financial hit this year.

“Many are struggling to cope with the financial impact of the pandemic and so unless the government provides increased support for these businesses, an increase in the national living wage will have a detrimental effect and not the positive one that is intended. A wage rise for employees is of no use if their place of work is forced to close.”

Keith Conniford, registrar of the Hair and Barber Counicil agrees, saying: “The Government should be supporting these increases and supporting the industry financially, as they are doing with the hospitality sector, and not solely relying on employers to foot an ever-increasing bill with ever-decreasing income levels through no fault of their own.”


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