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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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My employer is telling me to remove an earring while at work.It

Customer Question

My employer is telling me to remove an earring while at work.It has recently been pierced.Do I have to remove it?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

What type of work do you do?

JACUSTOMER-aeb8fq4v- :

Hi,I work in a school canteen.

Ben Jones :

Apologies for the slight delay, I experienced some temporary connection issues last night. Has the employer said why they will not allow you to wear this earring - is it a health and safety issue or simply due to appearance?

JACUSTOMER-aeb8fq4v- :

A bit of both really,I am allowed to wear a small sleeper type in my lobe ONLY,this piercing is the tragus,slightly above the lobe.Seems to me if I am allowed to wear in the lobe,I should be allowed to wear in that area too?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
The issue with piercings s that the employer can have a policy which prohibits visible piercings, tattoos, jewellery, etc. As far as the law stands, they can require their employees to adhere to such policies as long as they are not discriminating against them ion grounds of a protected characteristic. This would generally include such factors as race, religious belief, gender, etc. For example, if you had to wear a piece of jewellery for religious reasons then the employer would need to show there was an objectively justifiable reason for this, such as health and safety issues. However, if your piercing is not related to any race or religious beliefs and it is just a personal/fashionable accessory, then you will not be protected against discrimination and there will be nothing to protect you just because it was an expression of your individuality. It means that if there was a specific policy prohibiting visible piercings, you would have to adhere to it otherwise it could become a potential disciplinary matter.

I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you wanted to hear but I hope you understand I have a duty to explain the law as it actually stands and sometimes this does mean delivering bad news. Please let me know if you need me to clarify anything.

I hope this has answered your query and would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating. Your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you

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