Thousands of jobs are at risk.
The hairdressing industry is facing the very real threat of an unprecedented number of salon closures unless the Government takes urgent action now to address the crisis brought about by the current pandemic, according to leading industry body, the Hairdressing Council of Ireland.
The council, the largest representative body of its type in Ireland, with over 1,800 active members in an industry worth approximately €2bn to the Irish economy, is seeking to engage with government officials to find practical solutions that will protect the livelihood of thousands of hairdressers in the Republic.
Measures sought include a reduction or holiday in local council rates, a reduction in insurance costs for salons currently closed due to the current crisis and more clarity from the government and public health authorities with regards to safe return to work practices for industry members and their clients.
Along with its executive committee, Council President and multi award-winning salon owner Seán Taaffe is in constant contact with TDs and Ministers to this end.
Speaking about recent challenges, he said: "In the last 12 months, the hairdressing industry has seen a 50% increase in VAT, alongside soaring rent, rates and a greatly increased labour cost. With the onset of Covid-19, the future of our industry is increasingly precarious.
"Failure to address the current crises will result in never-before- seen numbers of salon closures and the resulting loss of jobs and personal hardship for all within the industry.
"In addition, given the size of the industry, a failure to support us will negatively impact the Irish economy as a whole and will ensure that the black market soars.”
"In light of this, the council’s executive committee is working tirelessly with leading hairdressers and business experts to offer clear and practical advice, not only to our members, but to the industry at large, and to ensure that any information communicated to the industry is accurate, constructive and avoids confusion.
"We would encourage all hairdressers to become members and to consult our website hairdressingcouncil.ie for regular updates."