Hairdressing chain abolishes €2,000 'training fee' for apprentices

Hairdressing chain abolishes €2,000 'training fee' for apprentices

Hairdressing chain Peter Mark has abolished a €2,000 'training fee' for young apprentices.

The practice had been implemented following the introduction of the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018.

Under this legislation, age-based minimum pay rates for young employees had been introduced, meaning the much lower trainee rates were abolished.

Trade union Unite, which represents workers in the hairdressing sector, welcomed the decision.

Peter Mark confirmed yesterday that the training fee would no longer be levied on workers, and that those employees would be paid the proper rate backdated to March 4 when the new legislation came into force.

Unite Senior Officer Brendan Ogle said they been providing workers with advice and support since they approached the union with concerns last month.

“Over the past two weeks, we have highlighted Peter Mark’s attempt to subvert the benefits of the new legislation by imposing a new ‘training fee’ on workers," he said.

"We alerted Minister Regina Doherty to the situation, and the workers’ plight was raised in the Dail by Deputy Joan Collins.

“Yesterday the company bowed to pressure, abolished the new fee and confirmed to workers that they will apply the proper payment rate backdated to March 4 when the new legislation took effect.

“On the eve of Unite’s Irish Policy Conference starting tomorrow, this victory is a reminder of the power of solidarity," Mr Ogle said.

Regional Officer Patricia Rogers added: “While this news is very welcome, workers should be under no illusion: only by continuing to act collectively can they maintain and improve their terms and conditions going forward."

A meeting will take place on Wednesday to ensure application of the steps announced by Peter Mark and to consider any other issues which may arise, Ms Rogers said.

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