In the modern world, tattoos have become increasingly prevalent in society, meaning the number of employees with tattoos have also naturally risen.

However, there are some factors to keep in mind when it comes to displaying tattoos at work that employers should be mindful of.

Are tattoos in the workplace appropriate?

Whilst there is no employment law in place regarding tattoos, whether these are acceptable for the workplace or not will be the decision of the employer.

Some employers may generally have more conservative views and won’t allow their staff to show their tattoos, but in more relaxed company atmospheres, they may be accepted and celebrated as a sign of individuality.

This also depends on the type of sector you operate in.

For example, more customer facing roles would likely see higher restrictions than those who have little or no face-to-face interaction with the public.

Additionally, it depends on what the tattoo is, and whether colleagues or clients may find it offensive or controversial.

What are the advantages?

Employers may allow tattoos in the workplace for several positive reasons, such as:

  • Promoting individuality
  • Appealing to clientele
  • Nurturing workplace friendships
  • Supporting diversity
  • Attracting a better array of applicants
  • Inspiring creativity.

It’s crucial to keep in mind the way in which society has evolved regarding tattoos, and the value of hiring and retaining younger talent.

Should you have a tattoo policy in place?

It can be useful to have a policy in place concerning tattoos. This could be discussed in the interview process if necessary, taking into consideration whether some can be covered with long sleeved tops, for example.

If you have an employee handbook with a section about personal appearances, it is likely that tattoos will be mentioned.

Have a read through and be sure there’s a clear outline on whether they are allowed, and, if so, what the guidelines are.

Most employers may choose to allow visible tattoos as long as there is no profane language or graphic imagery, and if they are on certain parts of the body.

Ultimately, what you choose to allow is up to you as the employer.