Budget 2021: UK Furlough Scheme extended to September 2021

The Budget 2021 was announced today by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, which will see several new measures implemented to help support businesses and the wider Personal Care sector.

This will include:

  • The Coronavirus Job Support Scheme extended to September 2021.
  • An extension of the UK-wide Self Employment Income Support scheme to September 2021.
  • £5 billion for new Restart Grants – a one-off cash grant of up to £18,000 for industries including Personal Care in England.
  • A new UK-wide Recovery Loan Scheme to make available loans to help businesses of all sizes with post-COVID recovery.
  • Extension of the apprenticeship hiring incentive in England to September 2021 and an increase of payment to £3,000.

Several leading industry bodies, including The British Beauty Council, have welcomed these measures, which will provide vital financial support for hair and beauty businesses, helping to shore up jobs, as well as supporting and upskilling young people in the industry.

Helena Grzesk, Chief Operating Officer, British Beauty Council, comments: "Together, these new measures form a stronger package of long-term recovery for the sector. We are delighted by the recognition that the UK government has shown in our industry. Salons, spas, and beauty businesses are the cornerstone of UK high streets and will be instrumental in kick-starting the economy and we look forward to working across the industry to get it back on its feet again.”

Samantha Grocutt, Hair & Beauty Charity President, adds: “Today's budget announcement has some positive news for our beneficiaries – especially those who were self-employed in 2019 and have been part of the 3 million who have fallen through the net of government financial support to date.  Approximately 62.5% of the professional industry is working in a self-employed capacity. Our charity has been vital to support for them, so we're pleased that there is now financial support available for those who need it and who meet the requirements for qualifying. 

"However, we also know that many of the beneficiaries we are helping with financial support still may not qualify for the new self-employed support as many were self-employed in July 2020 either by losing their jobs or having their employment status altered.  We have ring-fenced funds to continue supporting them."

VAT campaign to continue

However, despite multiple high-profile campaigns and a huge groundswell of support from the general public, the Chancellor has not cut VAT for hair and beauty businesses – despite having extended it for the hospitality and tourism sectors.

Commenting on this news, Millie Kendall MBE, CEO, British Beauty Council, says: “I welcome today's announcements, but we will remain committed to campaign for a VAT reduction of the personal care sector. Businesses told us in June last year what would make their recovery more viable, and the vulnerable, larger VAT-registered businesses did and still do believe that a VAT reduction is key to this. It seems like a simple mechanism which would help activate recovery for a services-based sector and help keep staff employed.”

A coalition of organisations such as BABTAC, British Beauty Council, NHBF, and the UK Spa Association has announced that they will continue to work with both BEIS (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) and the UK Treasury on this as a matter of urgency, as well as campaign for improvements in recognition and support for the Personal Sector now and going forward.