Words by: Michelle Bolger, Employment Law Consultant at ESA Consultants
If you have any questions for Michelle, you can reach her at <firstname.lastname@example.org> or drop us your suggestion as to what the next Human Resources post should be about!
Salon employee theft is a harmful and severe issue, especially for small businesses. But let’s face it: you can’t be there all the time, nor can you see everything. So how do you protect yourself?
Salon Employee Theft Scenario
Sandra has noticed that once a week the till checks are short anywhere between €20-€50. Having watched the roster it can only be one of three people Claire, Marie and David. Sandra has also been told by another member of staff that Marie has been taking product home every now and then to do her sister’s colour and has taken treatments for herself. Sandra wants to know what she can do regarding the missing money and product.
There are many issues here so we will break them down.
In reality, no employer wants to potentially fire three good employees. With this in mind, options to try to either stop the salon employee theft or at least reduce the number of staff involved would include:
> Designate one person to operate the till at certain times during the day (Marie 9-11, Claire 11-2, David 2-5, etc.); and/or
> Start dropping in and doing spot checks more regularly and at different times of the day. Never give any notice of when you are coming in (e.g. I’ll talk to you about that tomorrow after lunch when I’m in).
If you absolutely can’t whittle down the possible ‘suspects’ then your options include:
> Calling all three into a meeting, explaining what the problem is and stating how if it continues that you may have to discipline and terminate all three for breach of trust as you cannot work out who it is.
> Calling all three into a meeting, explaining what the problem is and putting them on immediate paid suspension pending a disciplinary hearing for gross misconduct which could result in their termination.
> Calling all three into a meeting, explaining the problem and telling them that you may have to involve the Gardai if it continues as well as starting an internal investigation.
Taking Products Home: Salon/Spa Policy
If You Don’t Have A Written Policy Regarding Personal Product Use
If you don’t have a written policy regarding personal product use, now is the time to put one together. A policy does not have to be overly formal or lengthy, but every member of staff must receive it. An example could be:
“As of the 20th October 2016 no member of staff may take any beauty product or company product for personal use without the express permission of their Manager. Failure to seek permission may result in disciplinary action for gross misconduct.”
Put a copy of the policy in the staff canteen and issue a copy with their payslips or email them a copy.
If You Have A Written Policy Regarding Personal Product Use
If there is a policy in place, then you can discipline the employee.
Salons have the right to spot check staff bags and handbags – that is if you set it up. To do so, write to all your staff letting them know that spot checks may be taking place.
“During your employment , we may search you or any property that you have with you at work in accordance with our search procedure.” – Source: NHF contract 13.10 (page 6)
If you enjoyed this guest post, then you will be happy to hear this will be an ongoing series! In the meantime, you might enjoy Michelle Bolger’s previous article on managing tricky salon staff situations. And, if you’re worried therapists or stylists might be stealing your salon client details, check out this article.
Preventing Salon Employee Theft With Phorest Salon Software
If you are currently using the Phorest Salon Software, the petty cash and deducting stock have a trail on it to see which staff take it. While not all salons use the individual pins for every employee, most do, and this can help determine who was in charge of the petty cash and stock at the time of the infraction.
Another thing is, the staff could change the price on the system and still be charging the client the full amount in cash and pocketing the rest. For this, we suggest you restrict the ability to change the price of a treatment or product, limiting the options to applying a discount. Discounts have a report to see how many were given, whereas you almost need to know prices were changed to track it.
If you would like to learn more about these features, why not schedule a training session with one of our in-house trainers? Click here for available time slots. Get training to suit you!
Thanks for reading!