Many firms could be losing out on talented younger workers because of negative opinions of tattoos. Research from Acas on dress codes shows concerns over hiring those with visible tattoos could be undermining the range of skills in the workplace.
Stephen Williams, Acas head of equality, explained the law allows companies to have rules around appearance, but they should be for the right reasons. “We know that employers with a diverse workforce can reap many business benefits as they can tap into the knowledge and skills of staff from a wide range of backgrounds,” said Mr Williams. He added: “Almost a third of young people now have tattoos so, whilst it remains a legitimate business decision, a dress code that restricts people with tattoos might mean companies are missing out on talented workers.” Acas has reissued its dress code guidance to support companies and ensure all employees are treated fairly, while maintaining the required standards. The updated advice advises employers to consult with workers over any proposed changes in the dress code, as well as ensuring it is not discriminatory in respect of the protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010.