Minimum Wages and Hairdressers

Readers Comment: I worked from 8.30-5.30/6pm 5 days a week this summer for £80 a week in a hairdressers, with a 30 min break whenever I could grab it. this is a fixed amount, even if i worked an hour over because we still had clients. Is this wrong? I roughly calculated it was around 1.70-1.80 an hour.

Your maths is fine. £1.80 an hour suggests they were exploiting you. It is a terribly low wage. It would be interesting if you had any contract (I doubt they gave you one). If I was in your situation, I would contact HM Revenue & custom (see below)

For hairdressers, labour costs are a high percentage of total business costs, therefore, they are often more sensitive to increases in the minimum wage. However, the minimum wage affects all hairdressers equally, so an increase in the minimum wage is likely to cause a higher price of haircuts to pay for the wage increase.

No industry is immune from the statatuary minimum wage.

National Minimum Wage Rates  from Oct 2011

  • Workers aged 21 and rate will increase to £6.08
  • the 18-20 rate will increase to £4.98
  • the 16-17  will increase to £3.68
  • Apprentice rate, – £2.60.

See: National minimum wage for 16-18 year olds

To be eligible, you need to be 16 and not of compulsory school age.

In England and Wales: a person is no longer of compulsory school age after the last Friday of June of the school year in which their 16th birthday occurs.


Enforcing Minimum Wages

I would recommend contacting HM Revenue and Customs where you can complain anonymously about your situation. It might be more difficult if you are no longer working there. But, ask them see what they say and suggest. Also you might consider writing to your former employer, pointing out where they broke the law. But, take advice first.

  • Telephone – 0845 6000 678
  • Minicom – 0845 915 3296

You can also write to them at:

Norham House
Benton Park View
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE98 1ZZ

4 thoughts on “Minimum Wages and Hairdressers”

  1. Sounds very interesting! Being a hair dresser at my early days of college, i am really looking to look after the minimum wages as it could solve some of my recently grown confusions.


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