Rodney Wayne, founder of Rodney Wayne Hair Salons, was interviewed on Three’s AM Show, after his induction into the Franchise Hall of Fame.
In the interview, Wayne comments on the state of the hairdressing industry. He shares that five Rodney Wayne salons have recently closed, attributing this to ‘massive’ staff shortages. In the same breath, he complains about ‘young people today’ demanding the Living Wage.
If a Living Wage is what it will take for hairdressers to be attracted to the industry, and stay in the industry - then why not make it happen?
The current Living Wage is $26 per hour.
In research both here and internationally, there is strong support for pay fairness predicting job satisfaction.
Paying a living wage can increase productivity, reduce worker turnover and absenteeism, and improve the quality of job applicants.
It adds up to workers turning up, happy, prepared and valued, rather than ‘heading to the beach when the surf's up,’ as Wayne alleges.
Wayne says he doesn’t understand why hairdressing apprentices need the Living Wage, asking why they just can’t live at home.
If Wayne really wants more people entering the hairdressing industry, he cannot limit the recruitment pool to those who can live at home, supported by parents or caregivers.
The reality is, hairdressers, new or experienced, are a diverse workforce, and just want to make ends meet.
They may choose to move to cities with more job opportunities, but crippling rental and living costs.
Some may be facing the choice between feeding their children, or continuing their training. It’s this choice that will determine their future industry.
Mr Wayne is predicting ‘very strong years’ ahead for his business. We’d encourage him to share the good times with his workforce – his ‘best friends’ – by paying a Living Wage.
Over 360 accredited Living Wage Employers are doing just that. They're reaping the rewards – including more job applicants, and better worker retention.
Other employers who pay the Living Wage share it proudly with job seekers.
Hospitality have picked up on this too, some choosing to pay the Living Wage to remain competitive in a tight labour market.
An added bonus for Rodney Wayne? Some workers on a Living Wage may even have enough money to save up for a treat – like a cut and colour.
Let’s aspire for a future Hall of Fame inductee to say, ‘My first salon invested in me, my education, and paid me enough to pay my rent and support my family’.
Note: Any formal apprenticeship under the Training and Apprenticeship Act 1992 is separate to the requirements of Living Wage Employer accreditation. Some Living Wage Employers choose to go beyond the accreditation requirements, and extend the Living Wage to apprentices, and other ‘earning while learning’ roles.