The hair and beauty black-market poses a grave risk to salons and the reopening of the beauty industry, if left unchallenged, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Senator Regina Doherty and other Fine Gael Senators met with representatives from the hair and beauty industry this week and were alarmed to hear of the impact the black market is having on the sector.
Speaking after the meeting, Senator Doherty said: “The hair and beauty black-market is putting legitimate businesses at real risk of not being able to fully reopen in the coming weeks. Many salons are struggling to retain staff, with the vast majority saying they are still trying to recruit following Covid-19.
“Anecdotal evidence right across the country suggests the black-market hair and beauty industry is booming and, if let continue, will have dire effects on legitimate salons.
“Many of these salons would be seen as ‘recession proof’ and in recent years were some of the only businesses left keeping our town and village high streets alive.
“According to the Hair and Beauty Industry Confederation, the industry was worth €2.79 billion to the economy in 2019, while the black-market costed the taxpayer €55m. There are now huge fears that this could grow as a result of the pandemic and restrictions on salons.
“Hair stylists operating on the black-market need to be aware of the potential issues they face as a result of this kind of work. It can hugely impact on future mortgage applications and pension entitlements, not to mention investigations from the Department of Social Protection or Revenue.
“I welcome Minister Simon Harris’ recent expansion of apprenticeships in the industry and look forward to further work in this area, but the growing black-market is really going to affect the viability of legitimate salon businesses to survive the rest of the year if not tackled immediately,” Senator Doherty concluded.