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The tattoo genie is out of the bottle

The traditional view of the tattooed body – essentially male and with a pre-disposition to being heavily muscled – is now so far out of date as to have no relevance in terms of social perceptions today.  Assuming. that is, that this concept was ever actually true in the first place.

Now, many females are as likely to sport tattoos as males, and it’s quite likely that the person working for you as domestic staff may just turn up for work one day sporting new body art, to use the in-phrase.

The person is already employed by you, you have been satisfied with their work, but you dislike tattoos.  Or perhaps you don’t have strong feelings about them, but are concerned that the employee may not now project the image you desire for your home and family.

It’s a difficult one.  You can’t ask the person to have it removed, it’s not as simple as that, but if you are really concerned, do you have the right to dismiss them simply because they now have a tattoo?  Or can you simply ask them to cover up in public?  Well you can, but if their reply is that they are proud of the body art and refuse, what then?

If you take the ultimate step and dismiss them, you may well face a case for unfair dismissal/discrimination, with all that now entails.  If you haven’t already employed someone, are in the process or are considering it, you could try writing a clause in the employment contract stating no visible tattoos allowed, but it’s debatable as to whether or not this would stand up in court.

Or do you simply accept it’s a sign of the times, with, according to some figures, one person in five in the UK, now having a tattoo.  The tattoo genie is already out of the bottle and there is no prospect of putting it back.  You take your choice, but before you take any action, take professional advice.  It could well work out cheaper!

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