HMV denies new appearance policy bans staff tattoos

By Emma Brant
Newsbeat reporter

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Music retailer HMV has defended its new staff appearance policy which asks staff to "cover up tattoos".

The company's new guidelines have been criticised as being too strict.

"We're not trying to ban tattoos," a HMV statement said. "But if someone does have extensive body art, we expect them to cover this up with their uniform."

The retailer says it wants to make sure staff working in stores or head office "look smart" and "presentable".

Bosses say they are keen for "individuals to express personalities" but also want to balance that against the "expectations of our customers".

The firm issued a statement following reports in the press that the company had banned tattoos, long hair and flip flops.

"More discreet tattoos and piercings are absolutely not an issue so long as people look smart," a post on the company's Facebook page said.

"This is just about adopting a more consistent approach, which we believe many of our customers will appreciate.

"Some of you may have read reports that we are banning long hair - this is not the case, but we are asking colleagues who have long hair to keep this tied up for reasons of health and safety, which we hope you will agree is not unreasonable.

"We've noticed, too, that there have been a few comments suggesting that female work colleagues must wear a skirt - again this is not correct.

"We're sorry if, having read our explanation, you remain disappointed with our approach.

"It's never going to be easy pleasing everyone all of the time, but, as we say, ultimately we're just trying to create an engaging environment in which colleagues will be happy to work and customers may be happy to visit."

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