MARTENSVILLE, Sask. -- A salon owner in Martensville says she was surprised to learn that she had to pay an Employment Insurance fee for a stylist who doesn't work for her.

“It could really be hard on a business and cause a lot of hardships,” Stacy Zalinski said.

In 2018 Zalinski expanded her business, The Beach Beauty Bar, to offer hair services, hiring four full-time stylists in the process. Like many other salons, she also rented out a spare fifth chair to an outside stylist.

In July, the Canada Revenue Agency told her that she had failed to pay an employment insurance fee for the stylist who was renting the chair.

“I was surprised that you would have to pay that because the benefit of renting a chair out to somebody is you just get that one lump sum and you don’t have any other expenses with that.”

Zalenski said she called other salons asking if they knew of the fee and they didn’t.

The CRA told CTV News that independent contractors are not normally considered engaged in insurable employment.

However, the CRA said there are long-standing rules that barbers and hairdressers should be insured under the employment insurance system, regardless of their employment status.

The maximum weekly fee is $26.47. An amount Zalenski said could quickly add up

“We’re lucky we only have only one chair renter and that we were notified sooner rather than later.”

Zalenski said she hasn’t yet received the final amount of fees she owes for 2018.