Appearance matters, in the workplace. Because of this, several workplaces enact dress codes or adopt uniforms. However, can your boss impose restrictions on your hairstyle, body piercings, and tattoos? Can you reject a job applicant just because of their tattoo?
Well, this stigma attached to tattoos has been irritating for some people for years.
The conciliation service ACAS warned employers against turning away applicants merely because they have tattoos. They claimed that by letting antiquated, unfavorable attitudes influence their hiring practices, businesses risk losing out on the best candidates. ACAS added that because so many young people today have body art, the pool of possible recruits would be limited if such prejudices were held.
But is it discriminatory to wish to preserve your company’s reputation? Can you lawfully reject an applicant for a job or even fire them because of their preference for ink?
Well, in today’s issue of the Metro there’s a short news story of a woman who got fired for having a tattoo on her left foot. It’s literally just a small butterfly design (Photo Below).
Jo Perkins has worked for “several high-level companies” as a procurement consultant throughout the years, which is good for her!
The facilities management business Salisbury FM had hired her on a five-month contract, but after discovering her tattoo, they sacked her.
According to the Inquistr, the company instituted a policy barring employees from displaying their tattoos at work a few months after Perkins started working there, the rule was intended to preserve the company’s reputation for professionalism, the report added.
“The policy is simply one of covering tattoos. The policy is in place to ensure our employees and contractors project the professional image we want our customers to see in Salisbury , (Perkins) made no effort to comply with the policy,” Ed Swales, the company’s chief executive said.
While still following a professional dress code, Perkins, however, said she found it difficult to cover her tattoo, “The only way to cover (the tattoo) would be to wear a sock. I’m a businesswoman and I wear smart dresses to work, so that would look stupid, I suggested covering it with a sticking plaster, but thought that would look unprofessional and draw attention to it,” Perkins told the Daily Mail.
Perkins not really anticipated what she experienced, little did she know she was escorted out of the building and was even fired just because she showed up for her work with her tattoo visible.
She said she was praised for her work during her five months at the company but now, Perkins said she is now considering taking legal action against Salisbury FM, saying that they discriminated against her.
She said, “I’ve worked for many high-level companies in my time, But I have never heard anything as ridiculous as this. I am consulting a solicitor, on behalf of all professionals with tattoos, to see if this action constitutes discrimination under inclusion and diversity laws.”