TV Licensing asks salon owners to 'cut hair, not corners and buy a TV Licence'

Tech-savvy salon managers who cut corners when cutting hair by not buying a TV Licence could be in line for the ‘hairdryer treatment’ from a local magistrate, which is why TV Licensing is urging managers and owners to make sure their businesses are correctly licensed.

And now missing a favourite programme to have a haircut is for many customers a thing of the past with many salons keeping customers occupied with individual wall-mounted screens in front of each chair. Some salons are even providing tablets with access to on-demand services, such as iPlayer and 4OD, to entertain clients whilst they’re in the chair.

A TV Licence is required if anyone – customers or staff - watches or records TV programmes at the same time as they are shown on TV, whether on a TV, tablet, computer or any other type of equipment. If the salon provides a TV or other device for watching live TV and does not have a licence then the business risks prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000. (Customers watching live TV on their own devices when out and about can be reassured they are covered by their home licence.)

Since April 2014 three salons across the UK have been successfully prosecuted for licence fee evasion. In 2013 TV Licensing enquiry officers visited more than 33,000 businesses, including hair salons and barbers shops, to confirm if they were correctly licensed.

Stephen Farmer, TV Licensing spokesperson said:

With many salons mounting small TV screens by each chair or providing handheld tablets so customers don’t miss a minute of their best-loved TV shows, live TV and hairdressing have never been closer. But it’s important salon owners and managers take a few moments to review and update their licensing requirements.

Cutting corners, rather than hair, could land the owner in court and facing a fine of up to £1,000. A TV Licence costs £145.50 and can be bought in minutes online at

Hilary Hall, CEO of the National Hairdressers’ Federation added:

Reading a magazine in the chair is still very popular, but some clients enjoy watching TV while they’re having their hair cut or styled. If someone is having a treatment they can be in the chair or under the dryer for a couple of hours, time the customer could spend with their favourite TV shows. The National Hairdressers Federation regularly reminds salons that if anyone will be watching TV in the workplace they need to have a TV Licence.”

To help businesses and staff understand the legal implications of watching programmes live at work, TV Licensing has produced a downloadable “TV in the Workplace” guide. The guide allows managers to outline whether the business is covered by a TV Licence and whether staff and customers are allowed to watch TV in the workplace. Download the template at TV in the Workplace guide.


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