Hot Topic- Should anti-tattoo discrimination be illegal?

The BBC have been discussing anti-tattoo dicrimination today.

We asked Jayne Dunn, senior HR Consultant at Your HR LAwyer to give us her views on the topic.

‘Many employers, particularly those who deal with the public face to face, have policies in place which set out guidance regarding appearance, including rules on hair, hygiene, piercings and tattoos. This isn’t unreasonable if corporate image is important to the reputation of the company and they wish to project a smart and professional image. 

However, is it fair to impose a ban on body art where the role isn’t customer facing or the individual is employed in a more relaxed environment? 

Although tattoos aren’t considered to be a protected characteristic at the moment, they are increasingly growing in popularity and, having a blanket ban in place, may mean that employers could be missing out on employing the best person for the job. 

Whether a change in the law occurs in the future or not, we would advise employers to think carefully about their appearance policies, and give consideration to whether their rules are legitimate and reasonable taking into account the working environment and their customer-base.’


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