The warning comes as TV licensing urges local salon owners to ensure their businesses are correctly licensed.
With salons keen to keep their clients happy and entertained whilst having their hair cut and styled, many are now providing customers with individual wall-mounted screens in front of each chair. Some forward-thinking salons are even offering tablets to customers so they can access on-demand TV services, as well as demonstrating new potential looks and styles.
Salons need a TV licence if they provide a TV or tablet for customers or staff to watch live TV programmes or BBC programmes on iPlayer. If the salon does not have a licence then the business risks prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.
In 2016, 10 salons across the UK were prosecuted for licence fee evasion, and in the last financial year, TV licensing enquiry officers visited more than 36,000 unlicensed businesses, including hair salons and barbers shops. Fergus Reid, TV licensing spokesman said: “With many salons mounting small TV screens by each chair or providing handheld tablets so customers don’t miss a minute of their best-loved TV shows, hairdressers are making sure TV is more accessible than ever before. But it’s important salon owners and managers take a few moments to review and update their licensing requirements.
“Cutting corners, rather than hair, could land the owner in court and facing a fine of up to £1,000. A TV Licence is just a ‘snip’ at £145.50, and there are many ways for businesses to pay – including BACS electronic transfer, Direct Debit or cheque.”
Hilary Hall, CEO of the National Hairdressers’ Federation, added: “Reading a magazine in the chair is still very popular, but some clients enjoy watching TV while they’re having their hair cut or styled.
“The National Hairdressers’ Federation regularly reminds salons that if anyone will be watching TV in the workplace they need to have a TV licence.”
To help businesses and staff understand the legal implications of watching programmes live at work, TV licensing has produced a downloadable ‘TV Viewing in the Workplace’ guide. The guide allows managers to outline whether the business is covered by a TV licence and whether staff and customers are allowed to watch TV in the workplace. For more information visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk/businessinfo.