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Posted 04.02.18

Ever worried that visible tattoos could keep you out of the jobs you’ve always wanted? Well, the times could be a-changing.

The conciliation service Acas has called negative views on visible tattoos outdated and said that employers could be missing out on top candidates because so many young people have tattoos.

They’ve even called for employers to relax dress codes in general.

Last year, a YouGov poll found that nearly a fifth of adults have tattoos – with people under 40 more likely to have them.

Research conducted by Kings College, London suggests that despite their popularity, employers still find having visible tattoos a reason not to hire.

Some of the managers interviewed for the research said that they would not hire candidates with visible tattoos in case they put off clients.

But there’s hope for fans of body art yet! Dr Timming – who conducted the research found that there were organisations that saw tattoos as an asset. For instance, those marketing to younger people – like clubs, or in the creative industries where it can be seen as a sign of original thinking.

“Isn’t that what employers are looking for these days? Someone who doesn’t always toe the line?”

“Isn’t Richard Branson talking about disruptive talent in the workplace? This is the kind of person who would fit that bill, I would think.”

Head of equality at Acas, Stephen Williams, said: “Whilst it remains a legitimate business decision, a dress code that restricts people with tattoos might mean companies are missing out on talented workers.”

“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.”

It’s not currently against the law to not hire someone purely based on the fact that they have visible tattoos, but according to Acas, companies may require tattoos to be covered up in the workplace – if they have a business case for doing so.

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