DISCLAIMER: This article has been written before any movement restrictions have been implemented in the UK, so the themes may not be relevant if the situation regarding the control of the pandemic has changed.
Session stylist and barbershop owner, Joe Mills, is putting policies in place to deal with no shows and cancellations regarding Coronavirus. Joe, who owns MILLS X Primark in the heart of Manchester and Birmingham and The Lounge Soho and Joe and Co in central London, believes the industry could be impacted as the population deals with the contagious virus.
“Our salons are all based in the heart of cities and if team members can’t come in and clients are choosing or are unable to come in, that will have a major impact on our cashflow. As barbers, we work directly in contact with our clients and there is always a risk of infection. And with the information the government has given us so far, there is a concern.”
One of the concerns for Joe is the announcement of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for small businesses. Officials believe up to a fifth of the workforce may be off sick at the peak of the epidemic, with SSP moved from the fourth day off work to the first. The prime minister has said people who self-isolate are helping to protect others from the virus and should not be penalised for doing the right thing.
“As a result, we have a policy in place that has been delivered to the whole team and we have changed the way we work, cleaning the shops and the team are stepping up their personal hand hygiene. The key is not to panic but to be informed and to monitor the facts and to be able to react around this situation. At the moment it’s about hygiene and keeping our clients and team members safe. We are washing our hands and equally keeping the environment clean. We use disposable towels and are washing gowns after each use, wiping down all sections after each client with antibacterial sprays. It’s basic common sense and being aware which can often be overlooked. As an industry, we need to be prepared rather than panic if appointments get cancelled.”