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I am seeing that there is a lot of questions revolving around how much to pay staff members and to be honest, this stuff is not easy to understand.

However, this is where we want to help you out. We have been operating our commercial lash and brow salon for well over 5 years and have had our fair share of staff come and go. We would always ask our staff what their previous rate of pay was and every single time, my jaw hit the ground when I found out how much they were being underpaid, before coming to us. There have been times where they were paid at least $5 per hour less than the minimum wage for their position.

So now it is time that we set the record straight, make this shit straight forward and simple for those that work in the beauty industry and empower you with the information you need, to correctly pay your staff and make sure that you don’t do what some of the biggest companies in Australia have done, and underpay your staff and cope a massive fine, as well as having to repay the staff member.

At the bottom of this blog, I have pasted 2 links. Both are related to Hair and Beauty in Australia.

The first link is the Award. This is the bible when it comes to staff. This gives you the rules, regulations and legislations when it comes to staff.

  • Yes, it uses words bigger than it needs to.
  • Yes, it is boring as shit to read.
  • Yes, it is YOUR responsibility to run your business as per these rules.
  • Yes, you can be fined for not following these rules.
  • Yes, your staff are well within their rights to challenge you with anything that is in here that you are not following
  • Yes, your staff will know these rules

It helps if you know these rules, however there is so much information in here that unless you are the Rain Man, you are not going to remember them all. Save the link and refer back to it whenever you need to. Because this is on the Fair Work Commission website, it will automatically update when changes are made and you can also subscribe to it, so when they make changes, they email you with the updates.

Now it is time to talk about Pay Rates.

Again, I have added the link below so that you can easily access the most updated pay rates easily.

When it comes to the pay rates, it is determined on the what the staff members qualifications are, what they do within your business and if they are casual or full time.

The pay rates are split into levels 1 through to 6. The award will help to determine what level you pay the staff member.

  • Level 1 – Receptionist/Administration – This is their only role. They DO NOT do treatments. Their role is reception/admin work ONLY
  • Level 2 – Unqualified Beauty Therapist, Cert 2 Qualified Make Up Artist eg LASH TECHNICIAN! – This is the level that is paid to a staff member that is doing beauty treatments, however is NOT and DOES NOT hold any form of Beauty Therapist Certificates or Diplomas. This is also the level you would pay a staff member that is currently doing their Cert 3 or Diploma, BUT is not yet signed off
  • Level 3 – Cert 3 Qualified Beauty Therapist
  • Level 4 – Cert 4 Qualified Beauty Therapist
  • Level 6 – Diploma Certified Beauty Therapist

Now, hopefully that explains the levels a little easier for you. With everything, there are always catches.

For example; If you have a Diploma Certified Beauty Therapist that is only doing reception work, they MUST BE paid at their Level 6 rates. They hold the qualifications that are equivalent to level 6, but you are only getting them to do receptionist work, you MUST still pay them at their level 6 pay rates because they hold those qualifications.

Now these are the MINIMUM rates that you MUST pay your employees. There is no law that says that you cannot pay them above these rates.

There are laws however, that says you CANNOT pay them BELOW THESE RATES. Paying your staff below these rates, will land you in a whole world of hurt, fines, backpaying and most importantly, a bad reputation within your team for underpaying them, which they will take as you NOT RESPECTING them and their talents.

All of this can seem daunting and really hard to understand, however there are so many resources out there that are there to help. Fair Work Australia is the lead Governing Body when it comes to staffing and they know their stuff inside and out. They are only ever a phone call away and are always very willing to help. They are not scary or will yell at you for not doing something right, they want to make sure that everyone is treated fairly and will educate you on what you need to know.

There are also companies out there, that will run your HR for you. We personally use Employsure as our HR company. They have written up all of our policies, staffing contracts, all the letters that we need to provide to staff and sooo much more stuff that it makes my head spin if I had to think about doing all of this ourselves. The most important thing is though, that they are available on the phone 24/7 and damn me…..I have made calls to them at 2am because of stuff that had happened to our staff. They have been the best investment to our business. And did I mention, they work out all the pay rates and interpret the Awards for you.

I will stress though, having someone else do your HR is a load of your shoulders, however you still need to know your shit when it comes to the award and pay rates.

Hopefully that has clarified pay rates for you but if you want to know more, we are always available to have a chat and you are more than welcome to pick our brains. Remember that you are not alone in running your business and there are other out there that can help


Hair and Beauty Industry Award (Online information)

Pay Rates (Search for Hair and Beauty Industry Award) 

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