Hairdresser’s successful false self-employment case hugely significant for hair industry

Many hairdressers operate on a self-employed basis at salons

In a landmark judgment for the hairdressing industry, a self-employed hairdresser, Meghan Gorman, has won an Employment Tribunal case against Manchester city centre’s Terence Paul salon for notice, holiday and redundancy pay.

The essence of the claim is that because Meghan was subject to the same controls as employees in terms of days worked, start and finish times, treatments and discounts given, products used, holiday dates as well as 67% of her takings being kept by the salon, she was not truly self-employed, despite her contract with the salon.

Employment Tribunal Judge, Marion Batten, ruled in favour of Meghan in March. The reasons for the ruling were released this month – these being the salon’s tight control over her working practices which effectively treated her as an employee, therefore she should benefit from the same employment law rights.

The judgment has opened the opportunity to further claims from Meghan who intends to pursue a legal case for unfair and wrongful dismissal, sexual discrimination and failure to provide a written contract of employment.

The successful claim is also hugely significant to the entire hair industry because many hairdressers who think of themselves as being self-employed actually aren’t. More claims of this nature calling out false self-employment are now highly likely.

Lee Jones is a specialist Solicitor at LLB Solicitors, who has represented hundreds of clients following injuries at hair salons. Lee states:

“We welcome this decision from the Employment Tribunal which may be beneficial for clients who have suffered injuries caused by hairdressers because it has the potential to make the hairdressing claims process more straightforward. Salon owners often look to avoid their responsibilities by hiding behind the pretence that their hairdressers are self-employed.”

The decision makes it clear that hair salons carry the ultimate responsibility for the staff they control. Lee continued:

“This judgment exposes the truth of these arrangements and puts the responsibility back in the hands of the salon owners, who should ensure they have insurance in place to cover the activities of all of their hairdressers regardless of their supposed employment status. Once salon owners start taking their responsibilities seriously, we are likely to see standards improve and fewer injuries.”

Anything that might reduce the risk of scalp burns, bleaching injuries, over-processed and damaged hair is welcomed by us. If you have suffered an injury caused by a negligent hairdresser and want to talk about claiming compensation, please contact us now or read more here.


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