Tattoos… For or Against?
With over a third of young people now having a tattoo does your dress code policy discriminate and are you missing out on the best talent? Tattoos were considered as part of a counter culture at one time but have they now gained a certain degree of social acceptance?
Whether personally you’re for or against Tattoos is somewhat immaterial from a business perspective. It’s important to question whether your organisation’s decisions are based on the needs of the business or management’s preference? If so, are those preferences lawful?
In relation to dress code policies Acas guidance advises the following:
- Any dress code should not be stricter, or lead to a detriment, for one gender over the other.
- An employer’s dress code must not be discriminatory in respect of the protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010 for age, disability, gender reassignment, religion or belief, and sex or sexual orientation.
- Employers may adopt a more casual approach to dress during the summer, but this may depend on the type of business.
- It is good practice when drafting or updating a dress code policy for an employer to consider the reasoning behind it. Consulting with employees over any proposed dress code may ensure that it is acceptable to both the
Depending on what and where the tattoo is, there may or may not be an issue for employers. The law still tends to be supportive of the employer’s dress code/appearance policies in general and employers retain some flexibility in creating rules that require employees to present themselves in a way that is consistent with the employer’s image. However, that doesn’t mean that banning tattoos altogether is appropriate and in some cases such action can still violate the law.
If you need advice on this matter please speak to your HR Advisor or contact one of the team on 01924 827869.