Minimum wage win for hairdresser

A HAIRDRESSER who earned just over pounds 1.50 an hour has become the first person to benefit from the national minimum wage laws.

An employment tribunal in Liverpool was told how Samantha Kaye, 18, was paid just pounds 58 for a 38-hour week, but should have been earning pounds 114. On the day the legislation was introduced on 1 April, the salon owner said she could not afford to pay Ms Kaye the pounds 3 an hour due to her and reduced her working week to 20 hours.

Ms Kaye quit the job at the salon in Warrington. The tribunal ruled that she had been constructively dismissed. Jane Goodland, a Citizens Advice Bureau lawyer representing Ms Kaye, said the employer, Janet Caldwell, had failed to demonstrate that her action had been "reasonable".

If the employer had been able to show that her business would have gone under if Ms Kaye had worked a full week on the national minimum wage, the tribunal might have ruled against her client, said Ms Goodland. "Mrs Caldwell had a contractual obligation to my client, she had a responsibility to fulfil her contract," she said. "My client was not a junior. She had passed her National Vocational Qualification in hairdressing and she was only earning pounds 58 for 38 hours."

Ms Kaye, who has since secured a full-time job on pounds 3 an hour at a hairdresser in the centre of Warrington, was awarded pounds 589 for loss of earnings and loss of statutory rights. Mrs Caldwell told the hearing: "Samantha was a good worker. We got on well socially and at work. I couldn't guarantee her full hours week in, week out, but she wouldn't be losing money and she'd have 18 hours more free time."

In making his decision, Eryl Lloyd Parry, chairman of the tribunal, conceded that the award was relatively small, but it reflected the "friendly way" Mrs Caldwell had acted towards Ms Kaye. Ms Goodland said the decision was important because it showed how the law would operate in cases where employers tried to evade the minimum wage. She said the advice bureau in Warrington had received a considerable number of inquiries about the law before its introduction, but there were no other cases pending in her area. Ms Goodland said there had been more inquiries on the European Working Time Directive, which introduced a maximum 48-hour week. Under the minimum pay legislation, workers between the ages of 18 and 21 must receive at least pounds 3 an hour, while those aged 22 and over are covered by a minimum of pounds 3.60. Young people under the age of 18 are not covered by the law.

Hairdressing industry leaders say the minimum wage has had a significant impact, forcing up prices in some areas by pounds 1 per haircut. Ray Seymour of the National Hairdressers' Federation said: "Most salons have faced increased wage bills because of the national minimum wage." But a Department of Trade spokeswoman said: "Independent research has shown that in sectors such as hairdressing, the national minimum wage has had little impact."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
Sport
Sean Abbott
cricketSean Abbott is named Australia's young cricketer of the year
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Partnership Sales Executive - TV

competitive + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: An award-winning global multi-media...

Sauce Recruitment: Account Director

£26017.21 - £32521.19 per annum + OTE $90,000: Sauce Recruitment: My client is...

Recruitment Genius: Linux Systems Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of UK Magento hosting so...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Development Manager - North Kent - OTE £19K

£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen...

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea