Beauty workers face redundancy following end of furlough scheme

By Becky Bargh | Published: 19-Oct-2021

One quarter of beauty professionals could lose their jobs following of the end of the UK government’s scheme

Concerns for beauty workers’ future has been raised by BABTAC, the British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology, the UK’s leading organisation for beauty professionals, following the end of the UK government’s furlough scheme.

The organisation has warned that up to a quarter of beauty staff could be facing redundancy as beauty businesses continue to battle the aftermath of Covid-19 lockdowns.

Speaking to its members, BABTAC found that 20% of beauty business owners will have to reduce their headcount, while almost a quarter said they are considering reducing staff hours.

“Our members are telling us that with the furlough scheme ending there are real concerns about loss of earnings and increased redundancies,” said Lesley Blair, CEO and Chairperson of BABTAC.

“When you consider the size of the beauty industry in the UK it is clear to see that the potential implication for the sector is huge.

“We therefore want to encourage anyone that might be struggling, to apply to the newly-launched Beauty Backed Grant Programme, to help them get back on their feet.”

The Beauty Backed fundraising initiative was established by beauty authority and skin care expert Caroline Hirons, during the height of the pandemic in 2020.

In an effort to support professional beauty workers who were furloughed following multiple lockdowns and Covid-19-related restrictions, the Beauty Backed charity raised some £600,000, £154,000 of which was mustered in the first 48 hours, and evolved into a Trust.

At the end of last month, the scheme announced it would be launching a selection of grants for struggling business owners and workers.

Individuals who plan to enter or continue a career in beauty can apply for the Start-Up grant for a cash injection of up to £5,000.

Meanwhile, the Support Grant is aimed at established businesses and freelancers that need additional help and guidance to recover from the pandemic, and can also apply for up to £5,000 of financial help.

“The dire ongoing effect Covid-19 has had on our sector is the very reason our Beauty Backed Fundraising Initiative first began – to support independent businesses and entrepreneurs who were directly impacted by the pandemic,” said Hirons.

According to Which, 14 October was the final day employers could claim furlough payments for their unworked hours in September.

Those claiming on the scheme could receive up to 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 a month, with employers offering to cover the remaining 20%, in an effort by the UK government to keep people in work during various nationwide lockdowns.

Figures show that from 31 August, 440,000 employers were using the scheme to support 1.3 million staff.

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