A young mother from the United Kingdom has been awarded compensation after the courts found that her employer, Engaged Fundraising Pty Ltd,...
Policies, Procedures & SafeguardsAugust 1, 2016
Chontelle McGoldrick had her job application turned down by Qantas and Emirates, due to having a small anchor tattoo on the inside of her ankle.
The 21 year old applied for a job as a flight attendant with both airlines earlier this year, but was informed she was unsuccessful due to having a visible tattoo. Even though it is only the size of a 10 cent coin, the airlines said they would not hire her. They claimed some cultures and religions would find the tattoo offensive, and told Ms McGoldrick she would find getting a job easier in the future if she had it removed.
Both airlines allegedly wanted to offer Ms McGoldrick a position, but would not until the tattoo was completely removed, and so long as there was no scarring left behind. Emirates have confirmed they have a ‘no visible tattoo policy’, whilst Qantas also have a policy where all staff tattoos must be covered and cannot be visible while in uniform.
While many would believe having a ‘no tattoo policy’ when hiring staff could count as discrimination, the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) have confirmed there is actually no law preventing employers from banning tattoos in their workplace, or from dismissing a prospective applicant due to having a tattoo.
While it is prohibited for an employer to discriminate against an existing or prospective employee based on race, sex, colour, sexual preference, age, disability, marital status, pregnancy, religion or social origin, physical appearance is not a protected characteristic under the Fair Work Act.
This means employers have the right to set rules and boundaries regarding their employees’ appearance at work, however, the Australian Human Rights Commission warned employers to exercise caution when doing so. Some cultures display tattoos which are linked to their ethnic origin, therefore refusing to hire an applicant based on this may be considered racial discrimination.
If you would like to discuss tattoos or your employees’ physical appearance, call Employsure today on 1300 651 415. We can help you implement policies and procedures, and answer any questions you may have regarding discrimination in your workplace.
Sourced from news.com.au