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Hiring staff for the first time is an exciting moment for any business. Ensuring you have a well-drafted employment contract is a good step to take in ensuring your employment relationship begins well. It is also important that you engage employees in accordance with the Fair Work Act. This article explores some of the more critical elements of Hairdressing employment contracts.

Position and Duties

Many employees of hair salons are covered by the Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010. The employment agreement should clarify both the employee’s position and their relevant classification under the Award (if required). Classifications correspond to the employee’s expertise and education level. The six classifications of the Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010 are:

Level 1

Receptionist or assistant

Level 2

Certificate II make-up artist, nail technician, or unqualified beautician

Level 3

Certificate III beautician or hairdresser

Level 4

Certificate IV beauty therapist

Level 5

Certificate IV hairdresser or trichologist

Level 6

Beauty therapist who holds a Diploma in Beauty Therapy

Probation Period

The probation period is designed to identify whether the employee is suitable for the business and the position. Probation starts from the beginning of the employment period and continues for a few weeks or months. You can define the length of the probation period in the employment contract.

During the probation period, either the employee or the employer may terminate the employment relationship by giving notice. Employees are entitled to accrued leave and be paid out any accrued annual leave during this time period.

Hours of Work

It is important to clarify what the employee’s hours of work are and set out how you will calculate overtime and pay it. You might be required to ask your employees to work alternate or additional hours at short notice. The hours of work provision in the employment contract should indicate that reasonable hours outside or in excess of the ordinary hours of work may be required from time to time.

Remuneration and Benefits

The pay clause is critical to your hairdresser’s employment agreement. Remuneration provisions must include the value of yearly salary or hourly rate and how it is to be paid. 

For example, weekly or monthly into your nominated bank account.

You should refer to the Hair and Beauty Industry Award Pay Guide to ensure the rate of pay aligns with the Award and your hairdresser’s classification. Pay rates change on the 1 July each year.

You need to explicitly define any superannuation calculations. The employment contract should detail how much superannuation the employee will receive and how you will make the payments.

You should also consider other ways you might be able to incentivise employees. 

For example, you may wish to provide your employees with discounts on hair products. You might also allow your staff’s family and friends to access complimentary or discounted services.

Here, you should explain the specific benefits which will be available to the employee in the employment agreement. You should also maintain a register to keep track of when your employees are accessing their benefits.

For example, ask employees to write down the name and contact details of their family and friends who will be receiving complimentary or discounted services in the register.

Non-Compete Clauses

It is common for clients to become loyal to their hairdressers, not the hair salon itself. It is therefore vital to have a legally binding non-compete clause in the hairdressing employment agreement. Here, your employee will not be able to leave your business, take your clients, and set up a competing business.

The non-compete clause is designed to protect the salon’s most valuable asset – the clients. Here your aim is to safeguard: 

  • client lists and information;
  • trade secrets; and 
  • other confidential information.

Work Health and Safety

The employment agreement will clarify the work health and safety (WH&S) requirements which apply to your hair salon. You should plan how accidents or hazards are to be: 

  • prevented;
  • managed; and 
  • reported.

All new employees may need to undertake WH&S training, and you should stipulate this in the employment agreement. If you have a separate WH&S policy which all employers should comply with, the policy should be referred to in the employment agreement. 

Dress Code

It is important that the employees in your hair salon dress professionally. You may ask the employee to maintain a high standard of personal presentation and hygiene. 

If you require your employees to dress in a certain way or in a specific uniform, you should clarify this in the employment agreement. Here, you might request that they return the uniform upon the termination of the employment agreement. You may also be able to state that employees will be charged if the uniform is lost or damaged.


Ending an employment relationship is a challenging experience for most employers. You need to ensure that you act fairly and that you comply with your obligations under the Fair Work Act.

It is crucial to follow the rules about: 

  • dismissal;
  • redundancy;
  • notice; and 
  • final pay.

Your employment agreement should set out the procedure to be followed where termination is due to take place. We all enter and exit places of work for a variety of reasons, termination should not be frightening as long as each side complies with their obligations. If you fail to comply with your obligations, your employee might bring an unfair dismissal claim against your business.

Key Takeaways

The employment contract is a helpful mechanism to establish a sound working relationship. It is best to cover the employment agreement with a personal letter to the employee from you. You should also consider including the key terms in a schedule which each party can easily refer to. If you need any assistance drafting an employment agreement for your hair salon, contact LegalVision’s employment team on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.


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