Representatives of leading beauty salon chains have urged the Home Affairs Ministry to allow them to re-open salons, post the extended lockdown, which ends on May 17, stating that jobs of nearly one crore professionals employed in the beauty and wellness sector are at stake.

They assured the government that re-opening of salons will be done in strict compliance with the health and safety guidelines issued by the Beauty & Wellness Sector Skills Council (B&WSSC). To ensure compliance, large players have also proposed deploying 500 trainers from leading salon chains and academies, to train employees of smaller salons, barber shops and parlours in accordance with the Council’s guidelines promising to cover 25 lakh professionals every week.

Some of the key industry players that have jointly written to the Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah and Secretary Ajay Bhalla, include Lakme Salon, Oneline Wellness, YLG Salon, Enrich Salon, Kaya, Looks Salon, Hakim’s Aalim, BBlunt, JCB Salons, Envi Salon, VLCC, Kapil’s Salons, Juice and Bodycraft.

Manpower costs are around 40 per cent of revenues and rent is at 15-20 per cent, and with zero revenue for the 60 days of lockdown, both owners and employees are equally distressed. The extended lockdown will lead to large-scale unemployment and significant disruption, given the high proportion of migrants, the joint letter to the Home Affairs Ministry said.

B&WSSC is a not-for-profit body set up under the aegis of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. It has issued guidelines that focus on maintaining safety of infrastructure facilities, administrative personnel of salons, clientèle and service providers. However, no guidelines have been issued for home services.

The sector, which employs nearly 70 lakh professionals directly and 30 lakh people indirectly, includes beauty parlours, barber shops, salons, spas, clinics and academies.

Safety measures

Pushkaraj Shenai, CEO, Lakme Salon, said: “We have implemented 55 stringent safety measures and checks developed in collaboration with doctors and aligned to the BWSCC guidelines for utmost safety of our customers and experts. We have trained our team — housekeeping staff, experts, salon managers and business partners — in these new methods to ensure complete adherence to protocols.”

The industry, last week, made a representation to the MSME Ministry on wage support and liquidity, besides other interventions to help the industry tide over the disruptions.