Legal: Tattoos in the workplace

Nicola Cockerill outlines the legal background to tattoos in the workplace

Tattoos have always been a divisive topic. Some view them as a personal expression of art, while others consider them unappealing or even offensive. But where do those opting to ink fit into an employment market where first impressions really do count?

Do employers have any right to ask employees to cover up? Or can they simply refuse to employ people with visible tattoos entirely?

Here, we assess how attitudes towards tattoos can impact the recruitment process and where everybody stands legally when it comes to body art at work.

Approximately 30% of 25 to 39-year-olds in the UK currently have at least one tattoo.

Interestingly, a 2015 YouGov poll on attitudes towards tattoos found that across age groups from the age of 18 to 60 plus, 33% thought less positively of people with body art, while the majority (53%) said that seeing a person with a large tattoo would make no difference to how they perceived them.

Subscribe for full access to this content

Thank you for visiting Optician. To read more of our content, including the latest news, analysis and interactive CPD modules, start your subscription from just £21.75.

Flexible subscriptions to suit you

From £21.75 GBP