Last week ACAS published new research showing that employers are at risk of losing talented staff when it comes to attitudes about employing people with visible tattoos, given that one in three young people have a tattoo their findings were that recruitment exercises within some workplaces are influenced by negative attitudes towards tattoos and piercings, and feelings that people would not have confidence in the professionalism of somebody with a visible tattoo with concerns being raised about perceived negative attitude from potential clients or customers.

ACAS are stressing the fact that businesses are within their rights to have rules around appearance at work but these should be based on the needs of the business rather than individual managers preferences. They emphasised the benefits of diversity in the workforce and that a restrictive dress code is likely to mean businesses are missing out on talented workers.

The updated ACAS guidance refers to the recent case of the temporary worker sent home for refusing to wear high heels emphasising that any dress code should not be stricter or lead to a detriment for one gender over another, however that it shouldn’t discriminate on the grounds of any protected characteristic and that when an organisation updates its dress code it ought to think about the reasoning behind any rules they emphasise the need to consult with staff.¬† Further information be found at www.acas.org.uk/dresscode