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Beauty company backtracks after refusing to treat nurses working with COVID-19 patients

Benefit Cosmetics UK apologises and changes policy after provoking backlash on social media

Benefit Cosmetics UK apologises and changes policy of not providing treatments after provoking public backlash

A beauty company that refused to give treatments to nurses and other key workers who come into contact with people with COVID-19 symptoms has performed a U-turn on the policy following a public backlash.

Benefit Cosmetics UK , a company providing make-up and eyebrow services in retail sites across the country, provoked outrage on social media when a nurse claimed she was turned away because she works with COVID-19 patients.

Nurses condemn Benefit Cosmetics UKs Twitter response

In a social media post, Benefit Cosmetics UK

Benefit Cosmetics UK apologises and changes policy of not providing treatments after provoking public backlash

Benefits Cosmetics UK changes its policy after provoking backlash on social media for refusing to treat nurses working with COVID-19 patients
Picture: iStock

A beauty company that refused to give treatments to nurses and other key workers who come into contact with people with COVID-19 symptoms has performed a U-turn on the policy following a public backlash.

Benefit Cosmetics UK, a company providing make-up and eyebrow services in retail sites across the country, provoked outrage on social media when a nurse claimed she was turned away because she works with COVID-19 patients.

Nurses condemn Benefit Cosmetics UK’s Twitter response

In a social media post, Benefit Cosmetics UK said it was policy that anyone in contact with people with COVID-19 or those with symptoms of infection would be refused service.

Several nurses and other health workers told Nursing Standard they widely condemned the policy and pointed out how regular testing and personal protective equipment (PPE) would make health and care staff safer customers than many members of the public.

Following the backlash, Benefit Cosmetics UK has changed its policy. ‘You’ve told us, We’ve listened, We’ve made some changes,’ said the company.

‘Like all policies live in action, reviews and changes will need to happen, and we have done that to ensure we can welcome as many of you back as possible, safely.’

Company apologises to NHS staff in statement to Nursing Standard

Customers will still be asked if they have been in contact with anyone with COVID-19 or its symptoms within the past ten days, but will also be asked if they were wearing medical grade PPE at the time.

In a statement to Nursing Standard, a Benefit Cosmetics UK spokesperson apologised to NHS staff: ‘This was in no way to discriminate against our hard-working NHS. We deeply regret any hurt or upset this has caused and are sorry this was not rolled out sooner.'

This is not the first time a business has fallen foul of treating health and care staff differently because of fears over COVID-19 infection.

In April 2020, supermarket chain Iceland was forced to reverse a policy requiring NHS staff to buy any items they touched.

View our COVID-19 resource centre


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