Just Cuts CEO calls for salon shutdown

By Sarah Stowe | 25 Mar 2020 View comments

Hairdressers are pleading with Government to protect the health of staff and clients and shut salons.

The call follows the UK and NZ precedents of closing hairdressing salons until COVID-19 is under control.

Just Cuts founder and CEO Denis McFadden also wants the Government to ensure a rent freeze on corporate leases and wage subsidies.

McFadden said the nature of hairdressing makes it difficult to ensure the government’s own social distancing rules.

“This decision is bonkers. It is physically impossible for stylists to do a shampoo or haircut without touching the client. It’s physically impossible for stylists to do their job and keep the 4sqm which National Cabinet now says “must be strictly observed”.

“This is not about what services can and can’t be provided in a 30 minute window. This is about health of everyone in our salons, our hairdressers and our clients.

“Hairdressing is not an essential service and the Government’s refusal to include hairdressing on its COVID-19 shut down list puts our stylists and clients in the firing line and their businesses more exposed than they need to be,” McFadden said.

“At the moment, our franchise owners who are primarily mums and dads, are hamstrung. Without hairdressing being on the shut-down list, it is incredibly difficult for our franchise owners to take the heartbreaking but necessary steps to stand down workers or call for breathing space on leases. 

“We simply cannot justify the health or financial risk to our franchise owners, stylists and clients.

“Australian national and state governments, we are pleading with you. We understand that you’re trying to juggle protecting livelihoods and saving lives but this decision puts both at risk for our people and clients. Please act now.”

McFadden’s plea comes after a statement from the Australian Hairdressing Council sought to include the industry on the list of closures.

“This decision is outrageous,” said Australian Hairdressing Council CEO Sandy Chong. “Around 40,000 hairdressers and barbers continue to be at risk of as they are directly exposed to large members of the public. Why beauty was shut down but hairdressing wasn’t, I don’t understand.”

Chong said it is costly for businesses to  close without a government directive.

The AHC head wants the stand down of hairdressing and barbering on the schedule for discussion.

“We must be on the agenda at tonight’s meeting so that this decision can be reversed. The Government must close hairdressing and barbering down for the safety of our workers and the community.”