Tattoos are in
Tattoos are in – like them or hate them?
In our changing times, tattoos are part of today’s culture. But if you have a dress code for your domestic and household staff, how do they fit in with your standards and requirements? And can you fire an employee who gets a visible tattoo?
The popularity of tattoos in the UK shows no sign of dwindling. In 2015 statistics showed that 30% of 25 year olds have at least one tattoo on their body, 21% for those aged between 40-59 and 9% for those aged over 60 years.
In 2018 survey by YouGov that 40% of people in the UK had at least one tattoo.
So what is your view on visible tattoos in the workplace which leads us to the nub of the issue, would you employ someone with a visible tattoo?
Would it be an outright No, or would it depend on the location, size and type of tattoo?
If your dress code forbids tattoos it would be covered in staff contract of employment, and that is the end of the matter, unless in the light of modern thinking, you relent. But then, that relenting would have to be across the board for all staff who have the exclusion in their contract.
Dress code policies need to be applied fairly and consistently, on a case-by-case basis, with individual circumstances considered to minimise the risk of discriminating against anyone.
How do employers stand legally on the issue of tattoos?
There are currently no specific employment laws in the UK that deal with the issue of tattoos, meaning an employer may be within their rights to reject a prospective employee for a role on the basis of them having a visible tattoo.
What can you do as an employer if an employee gets a tattoo while in your employment?
Such situations emphasise the need for policies to be across the board and cover all employees. For example if an employer dismisses a female employee with a visible tattoo, but not a male employee. such action could give rise to discrimination claims against the employer on grounds of sex.
Although tattoos are not a protected characteristic in the UK’s Equality Act, if the tattoo has a meaning relating to one of the protected characteristics – for example, a religious connotation – then this could give rise to an argument that the employee has been treated less favourably on grounds of religion and give rise to a discrimination claim.
Additionally, if that employee has worked for the business for two years or more, then there may also be grounds for a claim of unfair dismissal.
The Graham Agency, keeping you informed.