Going self employed

So I’ve been doing hairdressing for 8 years now and have a good clientele, I’ve been in my current salon that I work in for nearly 2 and a half years and whilst my clientele has been building up over the years I feel it’s now time to rent a chair. I have 2 bosses and they are more than happy with this as they know I can’t keep surviving on minimum wage and they don’t want to loose me so this is the next best thing. HOWEVER they want me to pay daily rent and buy my own stock etc but still dictate to me what hours and days I work? Is this fair?

To me the whole point of doing this is so that I’m earning more money for myself and that I only have to answer to myself. They still want me to take there holidays and days off into consideration as they both only want to work 3/4 days a week but to me the responsibility shouldn’t be put on my shoulders as it’s not my salon. For example they both don’t want to work a Tuesday so now they are expecting me to work a Tuesday so that someone is in with the junior.. When usually my days are Wednesday-Saturday. I would rather build my days up before going straight in to working 5 days when I already do late nights in the other days. And also because the junior is not my member of staff I feel like I shouldn’t be responsible? Am I in the right or am I being unreasonable?


Active Member
If you're self employed they can't dictate anything. They could get in trouble with HMRC if they place these restriction on a self employed person.

If you go self employed you are running your own business within their premises and what you do is up to you, if you decide to come in later, miss a day, whatever, it's not their concern as it's not their business.

The junior would not be your responsibility. You are in the right and I don't think you are being unreasonable. :)


Super Moderator
Staff member

That’s just what I needed to hear Thankyou, it had me doubting myself thinking am I just being the awkward one here? But no I completely agree that I shouldn’t have all that responsibility on my shoulders. If that’s the case I may as well be doing it for my own salon! So basically say on the days that they are on holiday and they want me to work would I have to work? Because I’ve already been told I need to be considerate of when they want time off? And when I said that I didn’t really feel it was my responsibility to open the salon and stay with the junior all day when it’s a day I wouldn’t usually work things started going west!


Super Moderator
Staff member
I think this is a common problem when previously employed staff go self-employed in the same salon. The employer still treats them as ‘staff’ and expects them to clean up, make tea, run errands, swap days etc. when asked. Unfortunately, most newly self employed people struggle to assert themselves and end up complying for an easy life.

They need to understand that the new relationship is a landlord/tenant one where they agree which fixed days of the week you will be working. That is the extent of their control over your business.
In this case, it’s about negotiating and setting completely new boundaries with them both. In the early days, you will have to be strong and very firm with repeatedly saying ‘No, that doesn’t work for me’ every time they try to treat you as their employee.
You don’t have to justify your refusal, so don’t worry about finding excuses.
Eventually, they will get used to the new relationship and you can then choose to be more accommodating later on, if it suits you.

If you CHOOSE to supervise THEIR junior staff on a day that you are working, that’s your call but you’re not obliged to do that either.

Okay that’s great, Thankyou so much for the advice!