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ITS a hair thing - May 2020

Welcome to the May issue of ITS a hair thing!

We have been so impressed with the resilience, commitment and standard of work created by our apprentices in the face of the current challenges - they a real credit to you all.

You are never far from our thoughts in terms of the business and financial impacts brought about by Covid-19 and we have Included in this month's issue, a round-up of the various Government support schemes available for SMEs.

As ever, we encourage you to follow our Facebook page where you will find all the latest updates, celebrations of apprentices' work and useful insights into what might lie ahead for UK salons once lockdown restrictions are lifted.


Follow the facts!

"There is a lot of speculation in the media today about when salons can re-open. This information has come from just one of the independent advisory bodies to Government, but this is not Government policy. We feel this type of speculation is very unhelpful and damaging to the industry. Less than a week ago the media published a very different date for when salons might re-open. The NHBF only report on what is Government policy, not speculation. We advise that you follow our social media channels and refer to our website with any questions."

We strongly advise our partner salons to follow the NHBF Facebook page or visit their website to keep abreast of the latest FACTUAL information about salon related Covid-19 developments.


Furlough guidance for employers

HMRC appeared before a commons select committee on 8 April to confirm how the job retention scheme will work. Here is a summary:

  • The portal opened on 20th April 2020 with the first payments made on 30th April 2020.
  • It takes approximately 4-6 days from the submission of data for payments to be made.
  • A guidance document is available on the Government website here.
  • Claims can either be submitted weekly or monthly depending on whether you run weekly or monthly payrolls.
  • Claims can be made for payments up to 14 days in advance of the date of payment.
  • HMRC are concerned about abuse so have set up a hotline whereby employees can report employers who are making them work while on Furlough.
  • If there is any evidence of a breach of the furlough rules no payments will be made.
  • In the future, HMRC will have the ability to check claims and will carry out retrospective investigations up to 5 years from the claims being made.
  • Fraudulent claims could lead to criminal proceedings.

You can at the current time ask employees to take holiday if you give the required amount of notice. This is sound advice as presumably you will need everyone to be working at full stretch once things open up again. If they do take holiday then they have to be paid at 100% of salary but you can still make a claim for 80% under the furlough scheme rules.

If you have made someone redundant but then rehired them once the furlough scheme was announced you can backdate the furlough claim to the date they were made redundant as long as you have written to them guaranteeing continuity of service when you rehired them.

Finally, HMRC have published information on what to do after you have made a claim:

Once you've claimed, you'll get a claim reference number. HMRC will then check that your claim is correct and pay the claim amount by Bacs into your bank account within 6 working days.

You must:

  • keep a copy of all records, including:
  • the amount claimed and claim period for each employee
  • the claim reference number for your records
  • your calculations in case HMRC need more information about your claim
  • tell your employees that you have made a claim and that they do not need to take any more action
  • pay your employee their wages, if you have not already

New 100% Government backed loan scheme for SMEs

The Government has announced a new 'Bounce Back Loans scheme' that will allow businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days.

Loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, and from Monday 4 May, businesses can apply online through a short and simple form.

The Government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee for the loan and pay any fees and interest for the first 12 months. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months.

Firms will be able to access these loans through a network of accredited lenders. The Government will work with lenders to ensure loans delivered through this scheme are advanced as quickly as possible and agree a low standardised level of interest for the remaining period of the loan.

The new scheme will run alongside the existing Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS).

In terms of stakeholder reaction so far:

British Chambers of Commerce Director General Adam Marshall said: "The Chancellor has demonstrated he is listening to the concerns of our business communities and taking steps to get cash to the front line where it is needed. This new route for our smallest companies to apply quickly and get a fast decision will be crucial to those who have struggled to get a CBILS loan."

Jonathan Geldart, Director General at the Institute of Directors, stated: "This is a welcome intervention, which should help ensure more firms can access the finance that could see them through this crisis. Business leaders will appreciate the Government's continued flexibility in adapting their response to what's happening on the ground. It's crucial that the Government's support cuts through to those who need it. Having a quick and simple process will be vital, and we need to remember that taking on debt is always a difficult decision for small firms."

Federation of Small Businesses National Chairman Mike Cherry announced: "To date, the existing interruption loan scheme has not been working for the small firms that make-up 99% of our business community. The decision by the Chancellor to listen to our recommendation for a 100% guarantee on smaller loans, alongside the creation of a new fast-track system for those applying for them, will give hope to thousands. The headline terms will be hugely welcomed by the sole traders and micro businesses that make-up 95% of the small businesses community. Removing the need to provide forecasts marks an important step forward - small firms cannot be expected to predict the future in this climate.

"From here, we need the right delivery. The new fast-track system must be established by next Monday with money delivered 24 hours after a successful application as promised. All those who have been declined a small coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS) facility should now be written to with the offer to re-apply via this new system. Those mid-way through a standard CBILS application should also be given the option to change tack. Many small businesses have had to pay March and April's payroll, on top of other overheads, with no revenue coming in at all. The CBILS initiative was their only lifeline until job retention scheme payments kicked in. It has so far proved to be extremely difficult to access for the vast majority. This announcement promises to change that fundamental lack of access to working capital."

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General declared: "The Chancellor's new 100% guaranteed loan scheme for small businesses is transformational. Sole traders, micro-firms and entrepreneurs will now have a simple route to fast finance to stay afloat, without red tape or time-consuming checks. Thousands of businesses could be saved by this lifeline. Banks now need to continue their work in overdrive to get the loans flowing faster. It's good to see the Chancellor listening to business, proving that where there's a need to adjust schemes, he will do what it takes. It will be vital to maintain this approach in the months to come. Every job saved today will ensure a faster recovery tomorrow."


Small Business Grant Fund

The Small Business Grant Fund (SGBF) is managed by local authorities and provides up to £10,000 as a one-off grant to help small business owners meet their operating costs. Only businesses in England are eligible for the SBGF and businesses can only claim once, even if they have multiple business premises.

Businesses that are eligible need to have been in receipt of small business rate relief (SBRR) or rural rate relief (RRR) on the 11 March 2020. Those small businesses whose premises have a rateable value between £12,000 and £15,000 and receive tapered relief also qualify.

Businesses whose property includes those also for personal use are excluded, along with car parks and parking spaces. Any business in liquidation or dissolved on or before 11 March 2020 are also excluded.

Local authorities will pay the grant to the ratepayer as held on their records from 11 March 2020. If businesses think the local authority records may be incorrect, then they should inform their local authority through the authority's website, along with their landlord or management agent.

Local authorities in England should contact those businesses they believe are eligible for the SBFG.


City and Guilds publish statement confirming they will not make flexibilities to EPA or practical observations for the Hair Professional standard

"This is a collaborative statement from End-point Assessment Organisations within the hairdressing, barbering and beauty therapy services sector.

City & Guilds, VTCT and Training Qualifications UK have been working collaboratively and after much deliberation we have agreed by consensus that delay for practical observation is the only appropriate mitigation during the current COVID-19 situation for the Hair Professional and Beauty Professional standards.

Practical observation is a critical part of the End-point Assessment which ensures that the Apprentice is safe to progress into employment and to provide services to the public. Our joint priority is to ensure that we all continue to follow government guidelines to support public health.

The World Health Organisation (WHO), UK and EU governments have stressed the importance of social distancing to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus. Best practice requires at least six-feet or 2m distance between yourself and others. In the hairdressing, barbering and beauty therapy industries all of our services involve close 'human to human' contact. Keeping everyone safe will always remain a priority. We are innovative and dynamic and we will continue to support each other in rebuilding our wonderful industry.

The collaborative statement is fully supported by both the Hair Professional and Beauty Professional Steering Groups. This current position will be continually under review and VTCT will keep you all updated with any further developments".

ITS are extremely disappointed with this decision given the wealth of quality assured evidence collated throughout the on-programme element of the apprenticeship. Ofqual have launched a consultation on their proposals for awarding vocational and technical qualifications to which we have wasted no time in expressing our views! If you would like to do the same, you can respond to the consultation here before the closing date of 8 May 2020.


Functional Skills level 2 'upskill' suspension

Following guidance from Ofqual, City and Guilds have confirmed the following:

  • Apprentices who are due to take their end-point assessment (level 2) up until 31 July 2020 should be passed through gateway to sit their EPA without the need to attempt the level 2 functional skills English and maths assessment (as long as they already have Level 1).
  • The certification end date for legacy Functional Skills (3748) will be extended to 31 December 2020 (confirmation of revised date for last assessment will be announced 'shortly')
  • Apprentices undertaking a level 3 are still required to hold or achieve an approved level 2 functional skills English and maths qualification, before they can successfully complete their apprenticeship.

The position will be reviewed in July to determine whether the suspension of L2 upskilling should continue. This is positive news for our apprentices who would otherwise incur further delays to their EPA.


Become BARBICIDE® Certified Today!

Demonstrate your dedication to providing safe services in the salon, spa or barbershop. Completing this free course takes less than an hour earning you a portfolio-ready certificate showing your dedication to infection control in salons, spas, and barbershops.

After you pass the course, you will have the option to instantly print your portfolio-ready certificate with your name on it. Good luck!

Take the Course


BARBICIDE®: A plan of action for your salon, following the COVID-19 Pandemic

Given the renewed focus on the health and public safety, the following Back-to-Work Plan should be used to make everyone more comfortable when services resume. This plan incorporates best practices according to infection control subject matter experts and the advice may supersede the rules of your local authority. In this tumultuous time, it is important that best practices be followed for the health of professionals and consumers and it is strongly recommended that this plan be applied to appropriate parts of your business.

DOWNLOAD the (PDF) Back to Work Plan HERE


WhatsApp 'weekly apprentice challenges'

We were delighted to see the high quality examples of work produced by apprentices for April's hair-up challenge (you will find these at the foot of this month's issue). Your acknowledgement and support via Facebook goes a long way to strengthening apprentices' enthusiasm and willingness to engage with these enrichment opportunities - so please keep it coming. Your Trainer/Assessor will continue to send weekly WhatsApp reminders to sustain levels of motivation.

The title of the latest challenge is 'Your best of lock down hair style'.
This can be completed on a model living with the apprentice in isolation, or a head block. They should create a style and finish - this could be; a set, blow dry, a cut or colour (in line with MFI and health and safety guidelines).

We are encouraging apprentices to 'think outside the box' and be creative, using tools and equipment available to them at home.

Step 1. Plan what you will do - target date: 28/04/20

Step 2. Write down what tools and equipment you will need to achieve this look (e.g mood boards could be created) - target date: 04/05/20

Step 3. Complete your 'best of lockdown hair style' and send to your T/A to be uploaded to social media - target date: 07/05/20


Hair and Beauty against Domestic Abuse

Visit Behind The Mask's website to access their free online training HERE.

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 learners who successfully completed hairdressing units in April:

Grace Bonner
Laura Byrne
Kate Lamb
Rhiannon Manners
Katie Shreeve
Megan Taylor
Lily Murphy
Rachel Smith


Congratulations! To the following learners who achieved their On Programme Tasks in April:

Sasha Austin
Jessica Rosewarne
Abigail Cuthbert
Emma Freeman


April Apprentice Challenge results

  • Each Trainer/Assessor was asked to select their two favourite looks from all of the fabulous apprentice challenge posts we received in April.
  • They were able to choose any two of their favourite styles regardless of them being picked by another T/A, this is why styles may appear in both 1st and 2nd place categories.
  • We would like to thank everyone who took part in the challenge and congratulate you all on the brilliant work that was produced, you are all amazing and should all be very proud!

The Results are in...

In 1st Place:

KATIE from Inspirations, Wokingham
JAYNE from The Salon, Sherfield on Loddon
KATELYN from Remington Harrow, Farnham
NICOLE from Frank Di Lusso, Carshalton

In 2nd Place:

EMILY from Amandege, Weybridge
KATIE from Inspirations, Wokingham
ANNABEL from Mova, Virginia Water
LILY from Toni & Guy, Weybridge

A special mention must go to Katelyn from Remington Harrow for her Bow Braid tutorial video upload!

Well Done Everyone! We look forward to publishing the results of the May Apprentice Challenge!

It's great to see examples of work created by learners! We'd love you to share more of these with us:


Charlotte Pugh, Inspirations - Woodley

Charlotte Pugh, Inspirations - Woodley


Savannah Keen, Charlie Brown, Wallington

Savannah Keen, Charlie Brown, Wallington


Katie - Inspirations, Woodley

Katie - Inspirations, Woodley


Brodie - Mova, Staines

Brodie - Mova, Staines


Annabel - Mova, Virginia Water

Annabel - Mova, Virginia Water


Emma - The Colour House, Bagshot

Emma - The Colour House, Bagshot


Lucy - Stone, Bournemouth

Lucy - Stone, Bournemouth


Charlotte - Inspirations, Woodley

Charlotte - Inspirations, Woodley


Abbie - The Colour House, Bagshot

Abbie - The Colour House, Bagshot


Simona - Aveda, Guildford

Simona - Aveda, Guildford


Linsey - The Establishment, Farnham

Linsey - The Establishment, Farnham


Nicole - Leo Bancroft, Weybridge

Nicole - Leo Bancroft, Weybridge


Jodie - Box, Basingstoke

Jodie - Box, Basingstoke


Alysha - The Colour House, Ascot

Alysha - The Colour House, Ascot


Paige - PS Hairdressing, Frimley

Paige - PS Hairdressing, Frimley


Sophie - Leah Durrant, Chertsey

Sophie - Leah Durrant, Chertsey


Leah - Leo Bancroft, Weybridge

Leah - Leo Bancroft, Weybridge


Nicole - Frank Di Lusso, Carshalton

Nicole - Frank Di Lusso, Carshalton


Lilly - Toni and Guy, Weybridge

Lilly - Toni and Guy, Weybridge


Katie - Inspirations, Wokingham

Katie - Inspirations, Wokingham


Rhiannon - Arc, Basingstoke

Rhiannon - Arc, Basingstoke


Jayne - The Salon, Sherfield on Loddon

Jayne - The Salon, Sherfield on Loddon


Megan - Pure Hair, Lightwater

Megan - Pure Hair, Lightwater


Danielle - Pure Hair, Lightwater

Danielle - Pure Hair, Lightwater


Lily - Pure Hair, Lightwater

Lily - Pure Hair, Lightwater


Grace - Box, Basingstoke

Grace - Box, Basingstoke


Jamie - Stone, Poole

Jamie - Stone, Poole


Laura - Stone, Bournemouth

Laura - Stone, Bournemouth


Trinity - Stone, Poole

Trinity - Stone, Poole


Sasha - Perfection, Yateley

Sasha - Perfection, Yateley


Sophie - Hair Lab, Basingstoke

Sophie - Hair Lab, Basingstoke


Savannah - Charlie Brown, Wallington

Savannah - Charlie Brown, Wallington


Emily - Amandege, Weybridge

Emily - Amandege, Weybridge


Abbie-May - Remington Harrow, Farnham

Abbie-May - Remington Harrow, Farnham


Paige - Emotive, Reigate

Paige - Emotive, Reigate


Katelyn - Remington Harrow, Farnham

Katelyn - Remington Harrow, Farnham

Wow! Such an inspirational reflection of apprentices' productivity during lockdown. Wishing you a positive and healthy month - thank you for your continued support!

Lauren Pullen
Head of Provision
Inter Training Services Ltd
Mobile: 07875 303317
Web: www.its-ltd.net


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