top of page

Councils are FORCING massage therapists to pay for a licence without anything to show for it.

Join the Petition here: Click here.

MP's won't acknowledge unless it is by a local member. 

Look up your MP: https://members.parliament.uk/members/Commons

Copy below into an email and send: 

My name:

Address:

Contact number: 

Further contact to:

HRM Beauty

Hayley Morgan

3 Caversham Park Avenue

Rayleigh

Essex

SS69QA

hrmbeautyenquiry@gmail.com

07903537984

Firstly thank you for reading my email, my apologies for any informal language, I am not a politician. 

This is an issue that affects mainly self-employed and mainly women all over the country, therefore I am asking for your help as it includes your constituents. 

There is a 1987 law which, more and more councils are starting to enforce. It has more holes than a sieve! This law is the equlienent of a street corner pimp (in this case councils) demanding protection money, not giving protection but will come after you if you don't pay. 

We need a massage licence to work from a set premise costing hundreds of pounds a year, with fines of thousands if we don't pay.

 

  • We don't need one to work mobile, so it is clearly not about our qualifications, insurance, the standard of treatment, health and safety for our clients.  - So why are we paying?

It must be about the environment we can control? 

  • We don't need any licence to carry out more dangerous beauty treatments in our locations. i.e., chemicals on/near the eyes. (These treatments are often at the same or lower qualification than massage). Hairdressers use blades near your face - doesn't require a licence. Massage therapists hold the same level of qualifications if not higher than hairdressers. 

  • We have to pay, even if we are not working in a location on a full or even part-time basis. (Just for the day!) Corporation buildings including Olympia, Excel and NEC (Manchester). We can't control this environment have no jurisdiction over anything in the building.

  • The licence is per location AND per therapist, so if we work in more than one county/borough we pay to pay again, with nothing to show for it, just a tick box in a database that I nor the public have access to. 

 

These fees are different in each county/borough with no explanation as to how that figure is reached. Councils are exploiting this law and using us as cash cows. The law is adapted to suit and EVERY time it is the massage therapist who has to payout.

If it is about location, the law should cover ALL industries and locations that involve the public (risk assessment). If it is about the treatment of massage it should be applied to the therapist no matter where they work. The question of 'what does this licence prove/do/protect from?' will still remain.

 

Having this fee is a postcode lottery. 

 

  • We are already an industry that is looked down on and penalised. We often come under the bracket of hospitality but are still in the 20% tax bracket, not 5%. 

  • We are seen as the 'little women' as demonstrated by numerous comments by MP's in the house of parliament, including Boris Johnson. We are NOT 'massage parlours'. 

  • We are mainly self-employed our grants are not 80% of what we could, should and did have booked in, but of the dribbles, we've been able to obtain. It does not account for any business growth but an average of previous years. We have been given no help, like 'eat out to help out' and couldn't adapt with take-aways or click and collect. We were the last to open after lockdown one despite being one of the most hygienic industries (more so over hairdressers). No extra assistance has been given by any authority for industries in the same boat.

  • We are harassed by men who enquire about sexual services on a weekly to daily basis, with no help or assistance from the police or council. (You have to be contacted more than once, and have the evidence, it will then be classed as harassment). 

 

If the massage licence is in place to reduce the number of sex workers in the UK, how does a background check or even one physical pre-arranged check a year do this?

As a massage therapist, I have to put up with 'being confused' with a sex worker from general society. This is demoralising enough as I am a highly qualified therapist in a skilled manual labour industry.  The massage/beauty industry is primarily female based. We are forced to put ourselves in danger every time we open our doors, (more so when mobile). There is no extra protection given by any authority i.e. police or council. A piece of paper that we can't even show to the public does not reduce the dangerous levels of being attacked. Nor would it stop a sex worker from offering their services. They could also have a licence. Now I am being financially punished multiple times to prove I am not one, with no protection from those who assume I am one. What does this licence prove? 

 

Our options: 

 

Do massage on a mobile basis and do all other treatments from my location. 

  • Clients will be forced to pay more to cover expenses. Some will be priced out. 

  • I have to use my car, increasing carbon emissions, clients can use public transport or walk to me. 

  • I am at increased risk of being attacked as I am going into unknown environments, I don't know the exits. I can not do background checks, look at reviews or know how many other people will be in this location. 

  • I can not control the hygiene in this location. (Increased risk of spreading Covid-19.)

Don't offer massage but can offer all other beauty treatments, even though I am highly qualified in massage. 

  • I have a reduced income for no reason. Paying less tax and being on universal credit to top up income. 

  • Massage should be accessible for everyone. It is proven to help with physical and emotional issues as well as improve good mental health which is on the decline and putting undue pressure on the NHS. NHS Physiotherapists do not have time to help each client in depth, meaning physical issues get worse. People have to take more time off work, which leads to longer and bigger issues both mentally and physically.

 

What would we like to see happen?

This law is outdated and doesn't make any sense. It either needs to be scrapped or revised so councils cannot exploit a hard-working (low paid) industry. 

Is it for massage? If so, then: 

  • One licence per therapist NOT per location and per therapist.

  • Needs to exclude those who advertise for 'massage' that also offers 'hidden' services for sexual gratification. (This can be easily found on Google and by spot, check enquires.) This is the only way to give some kind of protection to those who do not offer sexual gratification services. Less harassment will give us something to show for our money.

  • Proof of licence and background checks given to each therapist.

  • Money raised goes into protection for therapists. 

  • Men who enquire for sexual gratification from a licenced therapist is subject to be charged with solicitation.

 

Is it for the location? If so, then:

  • It needs to include ALL interactions with the public as all interactions involve a risk assessment. This includes working with animals. This covers every industry. i.e. Hairdressers have blades near faces, doesn't need a licence, beauty that involve strong chemicals do not need a licence. Either punish all or punish none. 

  • What does a 'set premise' include? Loopholes need to be closed and clarified. If it does include living rooms, then those businesses also need to be able to apply for a business rates number. 

  • A set premise can only apply to business rates premises. 

  • Cannot be applied to 'pop up'/rented locations like events. If the therapist has no control over the environment (including where they set up) they should not have to pay. It should be the venue owner. A pub has an alcohol licence, not each individual bar staff.

 

If the licence still applies, therapists require from the relevant councils:

 

  • Extra protection from the council and police. - CCTV, rape alarms, high alert location, self-defence classes.

  • Money asked for must be accounted for - how was the figure reached?

  • Annual feedback on how many 'spot checks' they have carried out to bring down the number of sex workers possing as only massage therapists. 

  • One-off application, not per year. Only changes if circumstances change. 

Sex workers need to be encouraged/forced to advertise all their services. Not offer 'hidden' services. It is this culture that puts us all in danger of harassment and/or attack.

 

Councils cannot expect payment with nothing to show for it. There are many other treatments where councils require payment for a treatment licence. The above applies to them as well. The qualifications are accredited and underwritten by insurance companies; we pay extra in public liability insurance if we offer these treatments. If we can do the treatment on a mobile basis without being charged, we shouldn't have to pay for any location. Punish those operating without qualifications and insurance, not those who do.

Here is a link to our petition to see up to date level of supporters: http://chng.it/sb6jVPt4

I would like Hayley Morgan from HRM Beauty, Rayleigh Essex, hrmbeautyenquiry@gmail.com 07903537984 to speak on my behalf from now on. 

If you can offer any assistance, I along with so many would be most grateful. 

Yours Faithfully, 

bottom of page