Waste service strike

A number of Tower Hamlets Council frontline waste service workers and street cleansers will be going on strike from 18 September to 1 October due to a national pay dispute.  

Despite the council working to maintain services for residents, the strike will impact collections and cleansing across the borough. We apologise in advance for the disruption this will cause. 

Find out more about the strike.

Special treatments licence

According to the London Local Authorities Act 1991, these types of treatments need to be licensed with the council:

  • massage
  • manicure
  • acupuncture
  • tattooing
  • cosmetic piercing
  • chiropody
  • light treatments
  • electric treatments
  • other similar treatments, including vapour, sauna or other baths (including infra-red sauna cabin).

Registration must cover both the person carrying out the treatment and the premises. The council has powers to refuse a licence application. Good practice is controlled through compliance with licence conditions in each case.

The applicant must ensure that the procedures, equipment and facilities used are safe and hygienic, to prevent the spread of disease and to comply fully with the general duty of care as required by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and set conditions.

It is illegal to conduct treatments unless a licence has been formally approved.

Once an application has been made and a fee of £409 has been paid, an officer will undertake to inspect the premises. If the officer considers the applicant's procedures and the premises to be suitable, the application will be approved.

The officer will also check on compliance with the following conditions and ensure that general health and safety requirements are being met. The officer will be pleased to offer any advice or give any help if you are unsure about how to meet these obligations.

The fee for IPL (Intense Pulse Light) with or without other treatments is £659.

Application requirements

  • Completed application form
  • Licence fee of £409 or £659 if IPL is included (we do not accept cheque payments)
  • Two passport sized photographs of the applicant and each operators
  • Copies of each operator’s current qualification certificate(s)
  • A copy of the current treatment price list
  • Portable Appliance Test (PAT) record or copies of receipts if the electrical appliances are new
  • A customer vetting/history card or able to demonstrate a system is in place
  • Public Notice on a local newspaper (only required on the first application)
  • Third party/Public Liability Insurance

To apply or renew your current licence please download the relevant application form:

Licence condition requirements


  • All surfaces in any part of the premises used by clients must be kept clean and in good repair.
  • All furniture and fittings in the treatment area must be kept clean and in good repair.
  • Tables, couches, seats, etc, used in the treatment area must have a smooth, impervious surface which is regularly wiped down with disinfectant and covered by a disposable paper sheet, changed after each client.
  • A 'No Smoking' sign must be prominently displayed.

Cleanliness of practitioners

  • Any overall worn by the practitioner should be clean and in good repair.
  • The practitioner's hands and nails must be kept clean.
  • Any open cut, wound, sore or boil must be suitably covered by an impermeable dressing.
  • The practitioner should not smoke nor drink in the treatment area.
  • The practitioner should have sole use of the washing facilities which must provide hot and cold running water, soap (or a similar cleanser) and a nail brush


  • Any needle, metal instrument or other item of equipment used in the treatment must be in a sterile condition and kept sterile until it is used.
  • If pre-sterilised items are not used then adequate facilities must be provided for the purpose of sterilisation.

Further information

Copies of the London Local Authorities Act 1991 can be obtained from Office of Public Sector Information, or a copy can be inspected at the Council offices where you may also obtain details of the application form and further help or advice.

Hairdresser licence 

The Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 has eliminated the need for hairdressers to be registered. However, activities such as ear piercing, electrolysis, tattooing and acupuncture, and the employment of employees still need to be registered.

Health and Safety at Work

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the key act which affects all commercial activities, whether self-employed or as an employee. Under this act, many regulations are considered. The more relevant of these include:

  • The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981
  • The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
  • The Health and Safety (Information for Employees) Regulations 1989
  • Health and Safety (Training for Employment) Regulations 1990
  • The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
  • Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992
  • Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
  • Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
  • The Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995
  • The Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996
  • The Health and Safety (Young Persons) Regulations 1997
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
  • The Working Time Regulations 1998
  • The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002.

Further information

To obtain a copy of a leaflet on the legislation, please contact Health and Safety or download a copy of the form from the Health and Safety website. For more information email Healthand.Safety@towerhamlets.gov.uk.