ITS a hair thing - August 2021
Welcome to the August issue of ITS a hair thing!
End Point Assessment success!
Team ITS extends huge congratulations to the following apprentices who passed their End Point Assessments in July:
Abbie, Remington Harrow - Pass
Emily, Amandege - Pass
Emily Jo, Monva - Pass (discretion route)
Hire a new apprentice incentive
As things stand, the hire a new apprentice incentive offered by the Government will expire on 30th September. So if you have an apprentice that you hired after 1st April, make sure you have their application form submitted asap. You can find the link here. The reason being that we have to skills check and assess for prior learning before we can sign them up to their apprenticeship therefore, we will need to schedule this in August to enable the sign up to occur before 30th September. If we don't receive an application till September there will not be enough time to accommodate the necessary eligibility checks, skills check, prior learning assessment and sign up as the skills check and sign up have to be separate visits.
Please also be aware that you will also need to have set up your apprenticeship account and added ITS as your training provider (with the necessary permissions to add apprentice details). Contact the office if you need details on how to do this.
Is your salon disability friendly?
According to disability charity, Scope, 13.9 million people in the UK live with a disability. Many people who are registered disabled and want to use salons can feel the service inaccessible. In some circumstances, a simple haircut can be a stressful experience for someone with cognitive or physical disabilities.
Good practice requires a salon or barbershop to foster/encourage inclusivity within the business and contemplate what reasonable adjustments are needed to remove barriers to disabled people in using its services.
Some of the barriers disabled clients may experience are no wheelchair access and challenges navigating backwash areas. Also, excessive noise or bright lighting can be stressful for clients with autism or high anxiety levels.
What's in it for you
The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), which came into effect in 1995, is intended to reduce the discrimination faced by many disabled people. Part three of the act requires service providers to ensure they are providing accessible goods, facilities and services (GF&S) to their customers. All businesses are required to make 'reasonable adjustments to their GF&S' for their customers.
People with disabilities don't always have access to the same opportunities as everyone else. The best thing a salon or barbershop can do is make it known that they can make accommodations for clients with a disability. Being a disability-friendly business can be a massive benefit; it shows your business is welcoming and diverse and has the potential to attract new clients with such a reputation.
A recent estimate put people with a disability collective spending power at more than £50 billion a year.
Clients with disabilities often choose to book with a mobile hair and beauty professional for convenience, as they may not be aware of disability-friendly salons or barbershops in their area.
Clients are often willing to pay for the experience and luxury of going out for a treatment or service.
Here are some tips and ideas you may want to reflect on making your salon disability-friendly:
Don't make assumptions; instead, assess the clients' situation and consider any reasonable adjustments that could be made to reduce any risks. As a hair and beauty business owner, your duty is not to discriminate and, where appropriate, take on board the disabled person's views. Examples of good practice include considering:
- Door widths and access points,
- Permanent or temporary ramps
- Signage, salon literature such as price lists that are disability-friendly
- Décor and furniture - contrasting décor, clear entrances, exits, walkways
If access to your salon requires stairs, consider installing a ramp and handrails to allow wheelchair or walking stick users to enter your premises. If your salon is up a flight of stairs, consider installing a stairlift if budget allows.
Don't assume a client needs/wants accommodations if they have an obvious disability. Never control a client's wheelchair or presume they can't do something. By just being consciously aware of the situation, the clients who need extra accommodations or assistance will ask.
Backwash and cutting areas
Clients with sensitivity issues may find it uncomfortable under bright lights. If your salon's backwash area is under bright light, consider having a lighting system with the functionality to dim the brightness. If music is on in the background, ask if the volume levels are okay for them. Be aware that shampooing a client's hair with a disability can be extremely painful because it puts their body in an unnatural position. Consider getting a portable shampoo bowl to accommodate those clients that may find it challenging to use the fixed backwash area or fit in an additionally lowered basin so hair could be comfortably washed.
Remember - Front wash basins or a purpose-designed neck rest cushion or pad must be used when washing a client's hair.
The small touches can make a whole lot of difference. Consider having heavy or weighted capes/blankets to help some clients feel safe and relaxed.
Maintaining good communication is vital throughout the service or treatment - ensure you complete a thorough consultation.
Before you start the treatment or service, don't be nervous about asking questions. It is important that your client feels you understand their disability. The client is the only person who can tell you, so don't assume anything. This will enable you to manage expectations and both plans and agree on the treatment and service to be completed, therefore avoiding any misunderstanding or disappointment. If a client's disability affects you from doing your job, then you do have the right to ask for tactics to accommodate.
For some people making a decision can be difficult, which then can cause anxiety. Keep a picture stylebook to stimulate ideas and perhaps suggest for them?
But be mindful that not everyone wants to talk, so avoid small talk or keep it to the absolute minimum and not pushing a conversation that isn't happening.
The best practice is all hair and beauty businesses should have inclusion and equality training to make staff more aware of the different disabilities that clients may have and how to adopt disability-friendly practices. Why not look at a quick sign language course for clients who may be hard of hearing?
It's against the law to discriminate against disabled employees. Funding is available to support disabled people in employment, and disabled employees can prove very loyal and stable in a fluid jobs market.
Your disabled client should feel like their experience in your salon is a normal part of life and not have their disability highlighted. Treat every client as an individual and give them the best customer experience while using your service. Ensure that their visit to your salon feels as normal as possible.
- Don't make assumptions; instead, assess the clients' situation and consider reasonable adjustments to reduce any risks.
- Installing a ramp and handrails to allow wheelchair users or unstable walkers to enter your premises.
- Consider getting a portable shampoo bowl or fit in a lowered basin so hair could be comfortably washed.
- Fix a lighting system with the functionality to dim the brightness.
- Do a consultation but avoid small talk or keep it to the absolute minimum.
- Train your staff.
- Treat every customer as an individual and give them the best customer experience.
England Operating Guidance FAQs for Step 4 from 19 July 2021
The following applies as set out in the updated guidelines for England:
Do I still need to carry out a risk assessment?
Yes. The guidance highlights a risk assessment is important to identify and mitigate the ongoing risks of COVID and other health and safety issues.
Risk assessments should be shared with staff and kept updated. HSE provides advice on how to do a risk assessment here.
What services and treatments can be provided?
There are no restrictions to the services and treatments that can be provided.
Do I need to ask my clients COVID related questions before their appointment?
Yes. The guidance still recommends asking clients if they have had symptoms or come into contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 before their appointment. It is also advised to turn away people with COVID-19 symptoms to avoid any risk of infection.
What PPE is required?
The legal requirement to wear a face covering was removed from 19 July in England. The NHBF is continuing to recommend that practitioners wear a face covering and also recommend that you ask clients to do the same. As before, the client would remove their face covering during a service or treatments to these areas and replace them afterwards.
Continuing to take precautions with wearing a face covering will help reduce the risk of infection, avoid potential temporary business closures and staff absences, and ultimately keep staff and clients safe.
Do I need to wear a visor?
No. The Government has removed any recommendation to wear a visor. A face visor or shield may be worn in addition to a face covering but not instead of one. This is because face visors or shields do not adequately cover the nose and mouth and filter airborne particles.
Are we required to social distance?
Social distancing requirements ended in England on 19 July when the country moved to Step 4. COVID-19 can, however, still spread through social contact.
It is therefore sensible to continue using:
- Fixed teams or partnering where possible (so each person works with only a few others).
- Screens or barriers to separate people from each other
- Back-to-back or side-to-side working where possible
These measures will help to reduce the risk to you and your clients.
Do we still need to support the test and trace programme?
The legal requirement to display the official NHS QR code poster was removed from 19 July. The NHBF recommends supporting NHS Test and Trace as good practice. This can either be through the QR code poster or by recording client details. This helps to contact those who may have been exposed to COVID-19.
Do we need to keep the customer's details for 21 days?
There are no longer specific requirements on the taking and maintaining of client records. For your and your client's safety, it is recommended to retain customer details for 21 days.
Do we still need to operate on appointment only?
The government guidance asks that businesses consider operating on an appointment only basis, however each business can make its judgement based on its risk assessments and hygiene and safety measures.
Should I self-isolate if I come into contact with someone who tests positive?
At present, if you come into contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, you should self-isolate. This applies to other staff members, clients or people outside the business.
From 16 August, under 18s and people fully vaccinated will not have to self-isolate if they have been in contact with a positive case. Further guidance on this will be released soon.
Do we still have to use screens?
Businesses do not have to continue to use screens; however, it is recommended to use screens as it reduces the risk of spreading infection.
Should I consider asking my clients to continue to wear a face covering?
Should I consider asking my staff to continue to wear a face covering?
Face coverings are no longer required by law. However, the government expects and recommends that people continue to wear a face covering in crowded, enclosed spaces.
Having considered the risk of COVID-19, you may decide that in your premises you're going to ask clients or staff to wear a face covering, especially where practitioners are conducting treatments which require them to be in close proximity to a person's face, mouth and nose.
When deciding whether you will ask staff or customers to wear a face covering, you would need to consider the reasonable adjustments needed for staff and clients with disabilities. You would also need to consider carefully how this fits with other obligations to workers and customers arising from the law on employment rights, health and safety and equality legislation.
Do we need to follow the same cleaning routine?
Maintaining good hygiene standards is good practice in hair and beauty salons and is an essential part of infection control. The guidance still asks you to consider the following cleaning in the workplace:
- Cleaning work areas and equipment between uses.
- Frequently cleaning objects and surfaces that people touch regularly.
- Sanitising any reusable equipment after each appointment and at the start and end of shifts.
- Using disposable gowns / separate gowns and towels for each client to be disposed of appropriately or washed between uses.
- Clearing workspaces and removing waste and belongings from the work area at the end of a shift.
- Referring to the guidance on cleaning in non-healthcare settings if cleaning after a known or suspected case of COVID-19.
- Maintaining handwashing, sanitation facilities and toilets hygiene practices.
- Reducing the spread of COVID-19 through contact with objects that come into the premises.
Can I reopen my waiting areas?
The guidance still asks you to consider advising clients to arrive at the time of the appointment as a way to minimise the number of people coming into contact with each other.
Do we still need to use a new gown for each client?
Yes, the guidance still asks you to consider using a new gown for each client.
Do I have to keep windows and doors open for ventilation?
The guidance continues to recommend maximising the supply of fresh air on your premises. Poorly ventilated spaces should be identified as part of your risk assessment and rectified with steps to improve fresh air flow in these areas.
This can be via:
- Doors, windows and vents
- Mechanical ventilation using fans and ducts
- A combination of both
Maximising the amount of fresh air circulating in your business will help avoid COVID-19 spreading.
Can clients pay in cash?
The guidance still asks you to consider keeping contacts around transactions to a minimum and, where possible, use contactless payments.
Can I now run at full capacity as I used to?
There are no formal recommendations within the guidance on capacity levels. However, it is recommended that businesses update their risk assessment to determine a safe capacity level for their specific businesses premises.
Can I offer newspapers, refreshments to my clients?
Yes. There are no restrictions in respect of food, drink or reading materials.
Can I hold pamper parties?
Yes. From 19 July, there are no longer any restrictions on group gatherings. However, businesses are expected to operate safely and follow the mitigations highlighted in their risk assessment.
How is this guidance enforced?
Enforcing authorities such as HSE and your local authority ensures businesses comply with relevant laws and guidance to control public health risks. From Step 4 on 19 July, local authorities will continue to have the power to place public health restrictions on businesses in cases where a serious and imminent threat to public health is identified. Inspectors are carrying out compliance checks nationwide to ensure that employers are taking the necessary steps.
If they identify serious breaches, enforcing authorities can do several things, including:
- Sending you a letter outlining the breaches they have identified.
- Serving you with an improvement or prohibition notice.
- Bringing a prosecution against you, in cases where they identify significant breaches.
If an enforcing authority issues you with any advice or notices, you should respond quickly and within their timescales.
Can I still furlough my staff?
Yes. Employers can still choose to furlough staff. However, from 1 July employers were required to start contributing to staff salaries. This included a contribution of:
- 10% from 1 July
- 20% from 1 August until the end of September
Furlough ends on 1 October.
We love to celebrate the achievements of learners and partner salons. Please let us know if you have something to share!
Congratulations! to the following apprentices who reached gateway in July:
Congratulations! to the following apprentices who are on track to achieve timely:
Welcome! to the following apprentices who joined programme in July:
Apprentice of the month!
Another month of incredible talent! and once again, an extremely hard task to select this month's winner. Team ITS extends huge congratulations to Lottie from First Impressions (Slide number 2) who has been voted Apprentice of the Month!
Have a great month!
Head of Provision
Inter Training Services Ltd
Mobile: 07875 303317
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