Should employers be more relaxed about tattoos?

Tattoo artist Andreas Moore says he would never tattoo anyone’s hands, face or neckWhile I don’t know anybody who may have been refused a job or fired from one because of their body art, I am sure it does go on, says Oxford tattoo artist Andreas Moore.

Employers are well within their rights to turn somebody down for a job and I would always respect their decision.

Ultimately, if somebody doesn’t like tattoos, why should they have to employ somebody who is covered in them?

Personally, I would never tattoo somebody’s hands, face or neck, and this was always the traditional view amongst tattoo artists.

But a lot of artists don’t hold true to these values anymore and are willing to tattoo people wherever they are asked to.

Tattoos have become horribly popular. People will see celebrities such as Cheryl Cole covered in visible tattoos and think they can emulate them, only they can’t.

If there were two people equally suited to a job and they gave it to the one who didn’t have tattoos it is sad, but it’s fair, the employer is well within their rights to employ who they want to employ.

When you get tattoos it is a personal choice and you know certain doors might become shut to you.

But at the same time some doors might open for you. My wife is heavily tattooed, but she recently got a job in a florists.

The people who employed her were obviously willing to look past her tattoos and were only bothered about how suitable she was for the job, but not everybody is like that.

I do feel if a person’s tattoos are not visible when they are at work then there shouldn’t be a problem and it shouldn’t affect their career.

However, the final decision comes down to the employer and depends on what they want from their workforce.

As tattoos become much more common, the issue of body art in the workplace is going to get bigger and bigger, says employment lawyer Andrew Egan

I have had clients who have gone into job interviews they were well suited for only to be turned down.

While the official reason for their rejection may not be their tattoos, they felt this was why they didn’t get the job.

Choosing to get a tattoo is a personal decision, and admittedly when a lot of people get them they aren’t really thinking about any potential consequences for their future employment prospects.

However, as more people do choose to get tattoos, it is perhaps time employers re-addressed their policies towards body art.

Attitudes change over time. Traditionally, you would only see older men with tattoos, and these came with a shock factor.

Now tattoos are everywhere and many major public figures are heavily tattooed, with stars such as David Beckham and Cheryl Cole covered in body art.

Certainly, being covered in tattoos is less appropriate in some professions compared to others.

Stereotypically you wouldn’t bat an eyelid if you walked past a builder with a full sleeve, but you might be slightly alarmed if the person delivering your baby was heavily ‘inked’.

It is important for each individual business to see what image they want to produce and where body art fits into it.

As long as an employee’s tattoos don’t damage this public image, and if the staff aren’t customer facing, then I don’t see what the issue is.

It is currently legal for employers to refuse to hire someone who has a tattoo, but I have a number of colleagues with body art and it by no means affects their ability to work.

If you can’t see the tattoo, it shouldn’t be a problem. What do YOU think?