Does having a tattoo mark you out to employers?

Employers could be missing out on top quality staff because they are rejecting tattooed candidates, a survey has warned.

Acas, a service which provides help and advice for employers and employees said the negative attitudes towards visible tattoos are outdated as so many young people are now inked and that as a result, employers are massively reducing their pool of potential candidates.

Nearly a fifth of UK adults have tattoos, with the majority of those under the age of 40. But despite the boom of the tattoo trend in recent years, research by Acas suggests that tattoos are still considered unacceptable in the workplace.

Employers, including the manager of a removals firm and the regional director of an accounting firm told the researchers they would be reluctant to hire people with visible tattoos in case it deterred clients and customers.

However, academic at St Andrews University, Andrew Timming – who has researched the role of tattoos in hiring practices – believes a change in attitudes is inevitable.

He said: “There’s a tidal wave of young people with tattoos these days and they’re not always going to be young.

“Employers are going to have to accept that they’re integral to the fabric of society and accept that they may potentially have a place at work.”

The report also suggested that employers should be thinking about relaxing dress codes in general.

Close