Tattooists should alert customers to job risk, warns law firm

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Specialist employment law firm Moore Blatch is urging Tattoo parlours to use comprehensive consent forms that make the risks of getting a tattoo clear to their customers, such as losing their job, before they proceed.

Moore Blatch is advising any employees considering getting a tattoo to read any disclaimer form carefully before proceeding with any work.  Known risks, such as scarring, blood poisoning, localised infection and allergic reaction, should all be outlined on the form by the tattoo parlour concerned.

In addition, Moore Blatch believes there should be specific warnings that by having a tattoo you may impair or prevent employment in certain occupations.

As an employment law specialist, Moore Blatch believes that a consent form should include the following warnings for those looking to get a Tattoo:

“I am aware that under the current law of England and Wales an employer can require me to cover up a tattoo whilst at work, refuse to hire me because I have a tattoo, or dismiss me for getting a tattoo”.

.Although one in five Britons now has a tattoo*, under UK law employers are currently permitted to:

  1. Refuse to hire someone because they have a tattoo;
  2. Require employees to cover up any visible tattoos whilst at work; and
  3. Dismiss an employee for getting a tattoo.

Katherine Maxwell, partner and head of employment law at Moore Blatch Solicitors, commented:

“The law can sometimes be ambiguous regarding tattoos.  We have seen an increasing number of cases where both employers and employees have sought advice about issues relating to tattoos and employment.  We believe that, if tattoo parlour owners include these clauses on the disclaimer form, people may be less likely to underestimate the impact that having a tattoo can have on their current or future employment.  If in doubt, employees should ask their HR manager about the company policy on tattoos, before signing up for any fancy artwork.  We would also advise employers to have a clear policy in place regarding tattoos and piercings.”

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  1. Am I alone in thinking that this is caution gone mad. It is not the responsibility of a tattoo artist to issue this sort of warning to an adult. If so, then customers should sign a disclaimer every time they tuck into a McDonalds (other burger chains are available) on the basis that it might make them fat. Or sign a disclaimer for every beer or glass of wine in a pub on the basis that it might make them drunk!

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