Self employed stylists - how it works


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May 13, 2020
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Hello, I am new to dealing with self employed stylists!

I have decided recently that I no longer would like to employ members of staff and I would like the to be self employed instead.

I understand there is a very fine line between employment & self employed. Before I look for someone who is self employed I just want to make sure that I go by the books and do everything legally.

My question is, What do I need to make sure I do so that nothing can ever get back to me because its not technically the right way.

1) When It comes to payment for a service do they have there own card machine / taking cash or does it go through the salon and I then send them the money?

2) If I am supplying all the colour / tools as part of the commission is this allowed?

3) If clients book though the salon as all self employed stylists have their own column is this also allows?

I have googles for the past week but I don't feel like everything goes into much detail and I don't want to get in any trouble! I am also thinking of doing 55 (salon) / 45 (stylist) comission.

Thank you so much in advance.
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Super Moderator
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Aug 11, 2011
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West Cork, Ireland
Have you already got staff who are employed, if so, you can’t simply move them to being self employed so best get proper legal advice before discussing the issue with them.

Here are the guidelines for self employment.

Having self employed stylists in your salon isn’t without risk. Clients will usually expect the salon owner to resolve any complaints even though you have no authority over the individual stylists.

Always provide a legally drafted contract for each of your stylists rather than relying on verbal agreements. This can save you potential heartache further down the line. The NHF offer legal advice, Insurance discounts and draft contracts for employed and self employed stylists as part of their membership benefits so it might be worth you joining, if you’re not already a member.

It’s generally better to let the stylists handle their own financial transactions because if everything goes through your till, it could push you over the VAT threshold.

Only use a salon based booking system if it’s electronic and all the stylists can log in remotely to manage their own bookings otherwise, you’ll likely to end up with some double bookings and unhappy clients.

As they’re running their own independent businesses within your salon each stylist can set their own prices and run their own promotions. Thereby directly competing with you and the other stylists. If they want to use a different brand of colour, they are free to do so. If they waste a lot of your colour by mixing up excess amounts and throwing it away, there’s not much you can do other than ask them to be more careful. You can’t limit their access to products if it’s part of the rental agreement.

You should carefully interview each potential stylist and ask them to complete a Trades test before offering them a chair to ensure you are happy with their standard of work. If their standards are lower than yours, you might find yourself stuck between an unhappy client who blames THE SALON and the chair renter who doesn’t see a problem. You can’t compel the renter to offer a refund or re-do so you might end up out of pocket paying off the client to save your salon’s reputation.

Recently, another forum member posted about one of her self employed renters being very unhygienic with the way she works. In these times of Covid, this is something you’ll need to be aware of because you don’t want the salon to be used as a scapegoat and wrongly identified as the source of a local outbreak. That will close your business faster than a few wonky cuts. :eek:

Best of luck!

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