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‘Don’t get tattoo if you want to work, law firm Moore Blatch warns jobseekers

PUBLISHED: 14:53 02 October 2014 | UPDATED: 14:53 02 October 2014

Tattoos warning

Tattoos warning

Archant

School-leavers or anyone on the dole looking for a job should “think twice” before getting a tattoo.

That’s the warning from a city law firm following September’s London Tattoo Convention held in Tobacco Dock at Wapping, in London’s East End.

Having a tattoo could affect employment prospects, Moore Blatch solicitors are advising.

“Tattoos used to be confined to bikers, sailors or artistic individuals to express themselves,” Moore Blatch’s head of employment law Katherine Maxwell said. “But today, tattoos are commonplace and attitudes towards them are changing.

“We advise anyone thinking of getting a tattoo to consider how this may affect their current job or future prospects as the law is still ambiguous.

“We also advise businesses considering prohibiting tattoos to be careful when drawing up their code of conduct and should take account existing employees with tattoos and think about whether they affect their jobs.”

Anyone applying for a job where they would meet the public—such as cabin crew, nurse or police officer—could have their applications refused if they admitted to having a tattoo.

Employers are permitted under UK law to refuse to hire anyone with a tattoo, require employees to cover up visible tattoos at work—and even dismiss an employee for getting a tattoo.

However, the law is not always clear, such as tattoos with religious significance where employees could have a claim for discrimination on grounds of religion or belief, under the 2010 Equality Act, the law firm points out. An employee with at least two years’ service also has the right against being unfairly dismissed, should they get a tattoo against their employer’s code of conduct.

Meanwhile, the 10th annual Tattoo convention at Wapping on September 26-28 was the biggest so far, organisers Miki Vialeto and Marcus Berriman report today. One-in-five people now has a tattoo. Having a tattoo could affect employment prospects, Moore Blatch solicitors are advising.

“Tattoos used to be confined to bikers, sailors or artistic individuals to express themselves,” Moore Blatch’s head of employment law Katherine Maxwell said. “But today, tattoos are commonplace and attitudes towards them are changing.

“We advise anyone thinking of getting a tattoo to consider how this may affect their current job or future prospects as the law is still ambiguous.

“We also advise businesses considering prohibiting tattoos to be careful when drawing up their code of conduct and should take account existing employees with tattoos and think about whether they affect their jobs.”

Anyone applying for a job where they would meet the public—such as cabin crew, nurse or police officer—could have their applications refused if they admitted to having a tattoo.

Employers are permitted under UK law to refuse to hire anyone with a tattoo, require employees to cover up visible tattoos at work—and even dismiss an employee for getting a tattoo.

However, the law is not always clear, such as tattoos with religious significance where employees could have a claim for discrimination on grounds of religion or belief, under the 2010 Equality Act, the law firm points out. An employee with at least two years’ service also has the right against being unfairly dismissed, should they get a tattoo against their employer’s code of conduct.

Meanwhile, the 10th annual Tattoo convention at Wapping on September 26-28 was the biggest so far, organisers Miki Vialeto and Marcus Berriman report today. One-in-five people now has a tattoo.


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