Hairdressers Journal recently revealed that the National Hairdressers’ Federation (NHF) and National Beauty Federation (NBF) are among the trade bodies writing to secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy Andrea Leadsom, asking for policy changes to ease Brexit pressures on salons and spas.
With all the recent confusion surrounding Brexit you may not be aware that after Britain leaves the EU, the Government’s proposed new immigration system for workers coming into the UK would require them to be earning at least £30,000. EU citizens that are already in the UK are able to apply for the EU settlement scheme now – this is free of charge and you have until December 2020 to complete this.
If you have been a UK resident for five years when you apply for this scheme then you should receive “settled” status. However if it is less than five you will get “pre-settled” status. Settled and pre-settled status give EU, EEA and Swiss citizens the same rights and conditions that they currently have.
Whilst we are uncertain, there may be a no-deal Brexit and if this is the case then any EU residents arriving after Brexit that plan to stay here for longer than three months will be required to apply for ‘European Temporary Leave to Remain’. This will allow EU citizens to live and work in the UK for up to three years. After this three year period, they will need to meet the requirements of a new immigration system which will apply from January 2021, this will include meeting the £30,000 minimum salary requirement.
Hairdressers Journal cited Hilary Hall, chief executive of the NBF and NHF;
“As more than 60% of jobs in the UK are below the £30,000 threshold, we’re encouraging salon employees who are EU, EEA and Swiss citizens to apply for the EU settlement scheme now despite the further Brexit delay.
There is a shortage of skilled hairdressers, barbers and therapists, so we urge salons not to risk losing any EU workers they currently employ by delaying their applications for settled or pre-settled status.”
The letter from the trade bodies is also calling for restraint on further increases to the National Living Wage because of the impact this could have on small businesses.
“Such rises would make the UK’s rates the highest in the world, yet other countries are not facing the same economic challenges as the UK and its departure from the EU,” added Hall.
“We are about to enter uncharted territory with Brexit, at a time when employers have had two successive years of pension contribution increases as well as above-inflation rises to minimum wages.”