EMPLOYERS are missing out on talented workers because of negative attitudes towards people who have a tattoo, says a new report.
The conciliation service Acas said a third of young people have a tattoo, but some firms, and individual managers, were worried about the image it would give to potential customers or clients.
Acas pointed out that dress codes in the workplace must not be discriminatory, suggesting that employees should be consulted.
Stephen Williams of Acas, said: “Businesses are perfectly within their right to have rules around appearance at work but rules should be based on the law where appropriate, and the needs of the business, not managers’ preferences.
“We know 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.
“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.
“We have updated our dress code guidance today, which also includes advice for employers to help ensure they don’t fall on the wrong side of the law with their dress codes.”
In a separate study, Dr Andrew Timming, of the University of St Andrews, found that jobseekers can make a mark at interviews if they have a visible tattoo.
Dr Timming said his research showed managers believed having workers such as bartenders with tattoos would attract younger customers.
He said: “Visibly tattooed job applicants can present as attractive candidates in the labour market because they can help to positively convey an organisation’s image or brand, particularly in firms that seek to target a younger, edgier demographic of customer.
“Tattoos, in pop culture industries such as fashion retail, are an effective marketing tool.”