Hairdressers are pleading with the Federal Government to add them to the shut-down list, arguing the removal of the 30-minute time restriction for client appointments does little to protect employees.
Last night, following a National Cabinet meeting, the government scrapped a previously introduced 30-minute rule per client, but insisted that stylists must still maintain the 4 square metre per person self-distancing rule.
LIVE BLOG:1.3 million retail jobs at risk as shops forced to shutter doors
“It is physically impossible for stylists to do a shampoo or haircut without touching the client,” Mr McFadden said in a statement to 9News.com.au.
“It’s physically impossible for stylists to do their job and keep the 4sqm which National Cabinet now says ‘must be strictly observed’.”
Mr McFadden said it was imperative the Federal Government shut down hairdressers in order for employees and small business owners to better access financial assistance. “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,” said Mr McFadden.
“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 so they can access available support or call for breathing space on leases.”
Yesterday Mr McFadden joined a raft of other hair salon owners in calling on the government to add their industry to the non-essential services list.
“Australian National and State Governments, we are pleading with you,” said Mr McFadden.
“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.”
The Just Cuts Australian network supports the livelihoods of 2500 fully qualified stylists and operates 190 salons across the country.
Just Cuts is the largest hairdressing company in the Southern Hemisphere and performs approximately 100,000 haircuts a week across its Australia, New Zealand and UK stores.
Australian Hairdressing Council CEO Sandy Chong said hairdressers would prefer to be to shut them down rather than to have trading restricted so people cannot attend.
“This decision is outrageous,” said Ms 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.
“The Fair Work Act, as it stands, makes it costly for businesses if they choose to stand down without the Government’s directive.”
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