Rt Hon Caroline Nokes calls for industry to unite

Advocate urges the spa, beauty and wellness sectors to work together at Spa Life UK


By Sarah Todd

25 November 2020

The RT Hon Caroline Nokes MP today gave a warmly received keynote speech at the online Spa Life International (UK) convention in which she highlighted the need for the spa and wellness industry to have a stronger voice in parliament.

Earlier this year, when lockdown restrictions began to ease at the start of the summer, Mrs Nokes played a crucial role in the fight to reopen spa, beauty and wellness businesses across the UK after the lockdown.

While spas were partially allowed reopen from July 4 2020, the aesthetic sector was held back from being fully operational and remained unable to offer full services and treatments due to its categorisation as being ‘close contact services’.

In response, Mrs Nokes fervently supported trade publications, business leaders and industry associations as they lobbied Parliament, eventually gathering vital cross-party support and shifting the conversation to enlighten MPs about the vital role that the spa, beauty and wellness industries play in the economy and wellbeing of their clients.

During an impassioned speech today, Mrs Nokes again celebrated the resilience of those in spa and beauty and advocated for unity to overcome upcoming challenges.

Here are some highlights of her speech:

“Covid is an opportunity for us to learn and do things differently.”

I am determined to make sure that the Covid recovery is one that works for everyone, for every sector and there is real thought about how we can pull together out of this pandemic situation stronger and better than before.

“There is a perception problem with the spa industry which I can throw back to government.”

Because the industry came out of lockdown way after pubs, there is a perception that your industry is less safe. But we have seen the transmission statistics and we know that transmission through salons is way, way down the list.

“As chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, I am very conscious that the spa industry employs an enormous amount of women.”

The challenge of keeping women in employment is key. I think there has been a tendency to ignore, dismiss and to regard it somehow a trivial sector employing only a small amount of women. Thousands of women have reached out to me [across social media] to tell me about their experiences. Every single one of them has been an inspiration in their own right.

“To talk to government, the entire sector needs to work together.”

This pandemic has taught us that you need to present a stronger, united voice as the wider wellbeing industry is quite disparate. Don’t silo yourself as separate disciplines. You need to work together and not regard some parts of the industry to be inferior. You have strength in numbers.

“Talk to your MPs about your industry.”

It’s good news that ministers are talking about wellbeing now but everyone need to keep the pressure up individually. Talk to your MPs about the industry. Many know very little and they are not experts so make your message succinct. Tell them who you are, tell them about your business and why regulation matters. Invite them to visit your business. It is a great way to show your MP how it works, what measures are in place to make them Covid secure. To find your local MP quickly, visit

“Spas need to publicly emphasise all the safety steps you have taken.”

Work with your local press. Invite your local MPs and use social media. Emphasis that the industry brings in £28 billion of turnover a year. Keep pushing the message that you are a key part of an economic recovery. Your industry makes people feel better about themselves.

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