Support for the Hair Industry in Saskatchewan
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We the undersigned residents of the Province of Saskatchewan, and other supporters, wish to bring to your attention the following:
The Saskatchewan government has decided Phase II listed businesses can “choose to” reopen on May 19. The lack of clear opening guidelines and protocols is causing miscommunication in our industry. As a profession that must be in close physical contact with many people to do business, this could be detrimental.
The Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan states:
"There is currently a global shortage of PPE that is affecting the healthcare system. N95 respirators, surgical/procedure masks, protective eye wear/face shields, gloves, and gowns are critical PPE required to protect healthcare workers."
The fact that personal care services will need to use the same PPE and protocols as healthcare professionals is a huge concern.
We are a regulated industry that is held to high standards which can be found in the Saskatchewan Personal Services Best Management Practices document.
Our training and certification does not include using PPE or medical level sanitization standards. We need clear resources for this and to know how it will be regulated, as it is outside the scope of the services we provide with our license
All of the information given to us on PPE uses the words "should" and "choose" which is not sufficient. We need clear, concise, and safe instructions
We need to be given clear information so that everyone will be held accountable to the same level of requirement- for the comfort of the service provider as well as the customer. We need to know where and how to get proper training- WorkSafe Saskatchewan does not provide this
Moving hair services to Phase III with the other, similar personal care service industries will allow:
-Time for the government to consult with industry representatives and associations to come out with clear, defined and consistent guidelines for a safe opening
-Time to witness the effects of of Phase I and the reopening of golf courses after the first nice long weekend of 2020.
-Time to ensure health industries and dental offices going back to work have a consistent supply of the PPE before personal care services are sourcing it
-Adequate time to see the effects of the opening of the other phases with businesses not reliant on physical contact
-Salons that have nail techs, esthetics and other personal services in their business to have all of their team back at the same time
-Financially, we need to know what will be required as the cost of PPE will have a significant impact on our already high overhead and small margins running a business in this industry. The burden of PPE cost falling on businesses combined with reduced services and hours will effect the short and long term viability of many
With allowing salons to "choose to" open puts many in our industry in a tough place:
-There are many stylists and salons that are facing a very real financial hardship; they feel pressured to open because of financial decisions vs. health and safety
-If a salon chooses to open and an employee does not feel safe to do so- they will not be able to collect EI or CERB - they will then have to reach out to WCB
-If a salon does open and then is not able to continue to acquire all of the PPE, they will be forced to close again
-It’s unclear whether the business is responsible for acquiring PPE for clients, individual employees or both
-In choosing to not open, clients of one salon or barber may choose to go to another. With unclear standards and limited PPE supply, there’s concern these clients will return to their original shop upon reopening, putting them at risk due to exponential exposure
-Feeling pressure from clients and the government salons and barbershops may open without truly being comfortable or informed in their decision.
We know these are unprecedented times. We recognize that not everyone understands what we do, even though most people have had a haircut in their life time. We feel a responsibility to protect our clients and community.
With this pandemic there are so many unknowns. The fact is that we need the grace and time to wait. To know that we are not making decisions because we are at risk financially. Hair Services and the other Personal Service Industries; Tattooing, Nails, Esthetics, Medical Esthetics, Make-up, Manicures, Pedicures, Electrolysis, Sugaring, Waxing, Body Modification and more, WE TOUCH PEOPLE.
It is why we love our industry, the connections we make using personal touch is so special.
Yes our industry needs to pivot, yes it will be changed. We need to make these changes properly, we need the time to do it right.
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