Here are our three top legal tips for dealing with allergies and reactions.
Are you a wedding MUA or wedding hairdresser? this is your SPOTLIGHT week by Your Legal Fairy Godmother.
Read on for important tips for your wedding makeup and hair business.
I speak to lots of MUAs and hairdressers who started in salon and have now moved onto mobile and appointment-based services for weddings and other special occasions. Often, they never had T and C’s when they worked in salon or in a shop – so think they don’t need any now. Sorry to burst your bubble, but what happens about products you use with your clients which cause allergies?
It’s not possible to exclude all liability in your contract for causing death or injury with the products you use or the services you supply – there’s legislation (The Unfair Contract Terms Act) and other consumer protections which means that a blanket exclusion of liability is ‘unfair’ in the legal sense and therefore unenforceable, but there are things you can do to better protect yourself.
Firstly – do you have a documented process of the questions you ask your customers about allergies, reactions and such potential hazards? If not, why not. Could you demonstrate with evidence that you had asked the right questions of your client, and had properly and reasonably investigated what potential risks there were? This means asking the question “Are there any allergies or irritants that you have previously reacted to that I should be aware of?” and documenting the response at the time of, or preferably before, the booking is confirmed. Do you do a patch test? If that investigation gives rise to a reasonable belief of a potential risk, have you gained additional evidence that you asked further questions or undertook tests to ascertain if you could really provide the services or goods requested.
Can certain products be avoided? Can you guarantee the absence of certain allergens, if required? Can you show evidence (and it needs to be written – email or otherwise) of what you asked and what you were told?
I’d suggest this is at the point of booking and again at the point of delivery.
Secondly – do your Terms set out your obligations as clearly as possible – and make it the clients responsibility to inform you of any changes in circumstances or the needs and requirements of any one else they request to receive your services ( bridesmaids, MOTB, MOTG) If not -they need to. If you provide services to under 16’s you will need to show parental consent, preferably in writing to your services being given to a young person who cannot consent for themselves. For those old enough to remember – this is the Gillick ruling which said children over 16 can decide and consent to treatment for themselves. Without consent, you may be guilty of an assault – with a blusher brush….!
Finally, make sure your public liability cover is sufficient for the needs of your business – get your broker to check this. Need a broker? Get in touch.
Take a look at our contractual solutions for MUA’s and Hairdressers on the site here.