Can We Require Staff to Cover Tattoos?

Can We Require Staff to Cover Tattoos?


Can we require staff to cover tattoos?


Simply answered, yes. But we recommend following your written dress code policy on this matter, which is generally in your Staff Handbook. Tattoo policies usually depend on the culture of the organization and the image they want to reflect to those they serve.

Some churches or ministries avoid restrictive dress codes because they can negatively affect morale and may drive away impressive job candidates. One might want to reflect those they are trying to reach and allow tattoos in order for staff to appear more approachable.  Other organizations may prefer a stricter dress code, prohibiting visible tattoos, to maintain an image more comfortable to those they minister to.

So what should you do?

If your dress code policy does not address covering visible tattoos or doesn’t in a way you like, consider revising it. You may decide to prohibit visible tattoos entirely or simply prohibit tattoos that are offensive, distracting, inappropriate, or over a certain size. The policy could even be something general such as, “Tattoos must be appropriate and in keeping with a professional image.”

When you’ve decided on a policy, be sure to communicate your reasons to employees and apply the policy consistently. We highly recommend the policy be written and distributed to all current and incoming staff. The best place for it is in your Staff or Employee Handbook since this is where similar policies reside.

Original content by HR Ministry Solutions. This information is provided with the understanding that Payroll Partners is not rendering legal, human resources, or other professional advice or service. Professional advice on specific issues should be sought from a lawyer, HR consultant or other professional.