Supporting the Hair and Beauty Sector: A Call to Action for the Next Government
May 29, 2024

With Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announcing a general election on July 4, the National Hair and Beauty Federation (NHBF) is urging the future government to recognise and support the vital hair and beauty sector. This call to action comes alongside the launch of their 2024 manifesto, which highlights the sector's significant contributions to the UK’s economy and communities.

The NHBF Manifesto 2024: A Vision for the Future

Unveiled on May 8, 2024, the NHBF’s manifesto, titled "The Value of Hair & Beauty: Careers, Communities, and Wellbeing," outlines key recommendations to help the sector thrive. These recommendations include:

  • VAT and Business Rates Reform: Adjustments to make financial pressures more manageable for small businesses.
  • Support for Employers: Enhanced provision of apprenticeship funding and targeted support for employers to foster growth and skill development.
  • Encouraging Social Prescribing: Integrating hair and beauty services into health and wellbeing strategies.
  • Aesthetics Legislation: Creating a level playing field through consistent regulations in the aesthetics industry.
  • Wellbeing and Sustainability Initiatives: Promoting green incentives to support sustainability and positive community impact.

Recognising the Sector’s Contribution

Kevin Hollinrake, Minister of State in the Department for Business and Trade, emphasized the sector’s importance, stating it “makes an important contribution to our high streets, daily lives, and local economies.” Shadow Minister for Investment and Small Business, Rushanara Ali, echoed this sentiment, acknowledging that “hair and beauty businesses are a key part of the high street, the economy, and make a strong contribution to wellbeing.”

A Call for Government Action

Caroline Larissey, NHBF Chief Executive, expressed satisfaction with the bipartisan recognition of the sector’s importance. She stated, “Our manifesto sets out a positive vision for the future and how the next government can better support the creativity, entrepreneurship, and public service displayed by our members every single day.”

Despite recent economic improvements, Larissey highlighted ongoing challenges, noting, “Even with the recent end of the recession and reduced inflation, half of sector businesses are still grappling with Covid debts. They will need further targeted support as outlined in our manifesto, so that they can continue to play a central role in the UK's economic growth, youth employment, apprenticeships, and the enhancement of people's wellbeing and sustainability into the future."

Mobilising for Change

Rosina Robson, NHBF Director of Policy and Public Affairs, urged businesses to engage with their local MPs and candidates, using the manifesto to inform discussions and advocate for necessary reforms. She emphasised the importance of grassroots advocacy in driving policy changes that will benefit the sector.

Key Points from the NHBF Manifesto

  • Economic Impact: The sector includes 49,000 businesses contributing £4.6 billion to the UK economy, with a wider consumer spend of £24.5 billion.
  • Community Health: Hair and beauty businesses significantly enhance local high streets and community wellbeing, offering complementary therapies that support local healthcare.
  • Apprenticeship Funding: A more effective redistribution of levy funding and the rollout of flexi-apprenticeships to make these opportunities more accessible for small and micro businesses.
  • Green Initiatives: Further green incentives to support businesses and guidance on achieving net zero targets.

The NHBF’s manifesto presents a comprehensive plan to ensure the continued success and growth of the hair and beauty sector, emphasizing its crucial role in the economy and the wellbeing of communities across the UK. As the general election approaches, the NHBF calls on all stakeholders to advocate for the policies and reforms necessary to support this vibrant and essential industry.

To read the full manifesto, click here



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