A 38 year old procurement consultant claimed that she lost her job after her employer discovered she had a butterfly tattoo on her foot. Jo Perkins from Milton Keynes alleges that she lost her job with a facilities management company because of a new “no tattoos” policy that was introduced this year. She said the dismissal was “ridiculous”.
In January Ms Perkins was recruited by an agency to work for Salisbury FM, in Milton Keynes. She said that her role did not involve interacting with the public and she was praised for her outstanding work in five months with the company.
Ms Perkins claims that her problems began when the company enforced its new policy. Ms Perkins, who has a tattoo of a butterfly that is four inches long and includes a scroll design, said the tattoo is only visible when she wears a dress.
“The only way to cover it would be to wear a sock,” she said. “I’m a businesswoman and I wear smart dresses to work, so that would look stupid.”
Ms Perkins said that she suggested covering the tattoo with a plaster, but thought it would look “unprofessional and draw attention to it”. On discovering that her contract had later been terminated, Ms Perkins stated “I am consulting a solicitor, on behalf of all professionals with tattoos, to see if this action constitutes discrimination under inclusion and diversity laws,”
In response to Ms Perkins outrage, Ed Swales, chief executive of Salisbury FM, said that the company did not have a ban on staff having tattoos, explaining “Salisbury’s company policy is that tattoos should not be visible while at work. The policy is simply one of covering tattoos and not a ban on tattoos. The policy is in place to ensure our employees and contractors project the professional image we want our customers to see in Salisbury. She made no effort to comply with the policy.”
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