Employment obligations in beauty salons

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A campaign was undertaken by Private Sector Labour Relations to educate beauty salon businesses about their employment obligations. This was initiated after a compliance audit in 2018 found that a large proportion of nail and beauty businesses were not paying their employees correctly. Information about the findings of this compliance audit is available on the Wageline website.

In July 2019, during the education component of the current campaign, a letter and information brochure was sent to beauty salon businesses which operate within the state industrial relations system.  The campaign was aimed at businesses operating solely as beauty salons and does not include hair and beauty salons or nail and beauty salons.  Nail salons have been the subject of a separate campaign.

Beauty salons in the state industrial relations system are those where the businesses operate as:

  • sole traders (e.g. Jane Smith trading as Jane’s Beauty Spa),
  • unincorporated partnerships (e.g. Jane and Bob Smith trading as Jane’s Beauty Spa)
  • unincorporated trust arrangements (e.g. Jane and Bob Smith as trustees for the Smith Family Trust trading as Jane’s Beauty Spa).

Following the education campaign, selected businesses were audited by industrial inspectors from Private Sector Labour Relations to check that employees were receiving their correct entitlements and proper employment records were being kept. A Wageline news announcement was published about the campaign moving to the compliance stage in September 2019. A post compliance audit letter and information pack was sent to businesses that were audited. 

An information brochure titled Beauty salon employer information pack is available in English, Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese and Vietnamese.

Key employment obligations for beauty salon business owners:

Staff pay and entitlements

You must pay all staff at least the minimum rate of pay relevant to their age and for every hour worked in the business.

The correct legal minimum rates of pay are on the minimum pay rates for award free employees page. It is unlawful for employers to pay employees less than the minimum rate of pay.

Review your records and ensure employees are receiving the correct wage for their age and employment type (e.g. casuals must receive a 20% loading). 

Leave entitlements

You also must provide leave entitlements for all staff as required by the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act 1993 and the Long Service Leave Act 1958

This quick reference guide shows basic leave entitlements for full time, part time and casual employees.

Leave entitlement Full time employees Part time employees Casual employees
Paid annual leave Yes Yes No
Paid sick and carer's leave Yes Yes No
Unpaid carer's leave Yes Yes Yes
Paid bereavement leave Yes Yes Yes
Unpaid parental leave Yes Yes Yes
Paid long service leave Yes Yes Yes


You can find extensive information about annual, sick and other leave or information specifically about long service leave on the Wageline website. 

The award free employees minimum pay rates for award free employees publication provides a summary of pay rates and entitlements for award free employees, which includes employees working in a beauty salon who are covered by the State industrial relations system. 

Record keeping

You must keep employment records for all employees of the business.

The Minimum Conditions of Employment Act 1993 specifies that employers must keep employment records for all employees of the business which detail: 

  • the employee’s name
  • the employee’s date of birth if under 21 years of age
  • the date the employment started
  • total number of hours worked each week (this does not apply to employees earning $45,000 or more per year)
  • the gross and net amounts paid to the employee
  • all pay deductions and the reasons for them
  • all leave taken, whether paid, partly paid or unpaid
  • all information required to calculate long service leave entitlements and payment

Employment records can be written or electronic, and must be kept in English.

Visit the Record keeping requirements page for more information, including six suggested templates. The templates have been designed to help businesses meet legislative record keeping requirements.

Employers can be penalised up to $5,000 for not keeping employment records, or for keeping inadequate or fraudulent records.

If I have questions about my employment obligations such as pay rates and leave who should I contact?

State system employers should view information on pay rates on this website or contact Wageline on 1300 655 266.

Other employment obligations

Beauty salon owners have a range of other employment obligations - find out where you can get help with these.

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