Tattoos – The Modern Question

Tattoos – The Modern Question

Summer holidays are over and as an employer or prospective employer of domestic staff you may well be contemplating hiring staff.

So how do you stand on the issue of tattoos? Opinions vary greatly and in truth there is a great divide on whether they are acceptable at work or not.

Research commissioned by employment information and advice service ACAS revealed body art will make many employers think twice about hiring someone.

So let’s look at the legal status of tattoos:

Under UK law, workers have no protection under discrimination legislation for having a tattoo. This means that it could be easy to reject a job candidate for wearing a tattoo. Employers may also be able to fire an employee for contravening a dress code, which requires employees to cover up visible tattoos.

Legally, employers are allowed to promote a certain image through their staff’s appearance. That can mean a uniform policy, rules on hair and tattoo restrictions. ACAS says that staff can be asked to remove piercing or cover tattoos while at work.

If an employer does introduce or adapt a dress code, it should be written down and sent to all staff.

As tattoos do not fall under protection from discrimination, employers are free to base their recruitment decisions on body art alone, if they so choose. The only exceptions would be in a case of religious markings under the 2010 Equality Act. But evidence would have to be provided and it would be very difficult to prove.

Additionally, if the tattoo was specifically to cover a disfigurement, this may also fall within protection.

Tattoos are a modern trend and, essentially, whether or not you accept them is up to you, unless you have a written dress code which bans visible markings

The Graham Agency, keeping you informed.