I visited Elaje Hair and Beauty to praise the Cambridge business for directly employing their staff rather than forcing them into ‘self employment’ and rent a chair.
Over 57% of the hairdressing industry is freelance according to a survey conducted by the National Hairdressers Federation.
With coronovirus spreading, the government is advising more people to self-isolate and stay at home even if they only have mild symptoms.
But while employed workers get statutory sick pay, self-employed workers and those renting a chair do not. The government’s only suggestion for those workers is to apply for Universal Credit for the period of their self isolation.
I am receiving letters and emails from self-employed workers and those working in the ‘gig’ economy’ and they are desperately worried. Where is the protection and government support for them?
Elaje is a great example of a business that is looking after its staff and we need more companies to follow suit.
In the long-term we also need clearer definitions for what self-employment really means coupled with measures to ensure that workers are not exploited by businesses who are looking to cut costs by offering a poorer safety net for their staff. We can’t allow businesses who do the right thing to be undercut by competitors who don’t.