Friday, June 1, 2012

Employees refuse to take tattoo survey in Osaka

Do you feel it’s OK for a workplace to make you declare if you have a tattoo? In Australia tattoos isn’t an issue in the workplace. On a professional level, they may ask you to conceal it while at work but they certainly would not sack you over it.

In Japan, the mayor of Osaka Toru Hashimoto forced all employees in the public sector to declare if they have tattoos in a survey. If an employee owned up to having a tattoo, they could meet some unfavorable consequences such as relocation or dismissal. Not a win win situation for inked employees.

So why all this fuss over employees having ink? Well, in Japan tattoos are frowned upon in society - because they assume that person has an association with the yakuza.

 Recently another tattoo survey was conducted and 15 employees refused to fill out the form arguing that it violated their privacy. Displeased with their response, the government replied that they will take disciplinary measures that include salary cuts and other reprimand.

Mayor Hashimoto strongly feels that if people want or have tattoos they don’t belong in the public sector and should find work in the private sector. If you think about it, how does having a picture on your skin affect a person’s ability to do their job. Having ink doesn’t take away a person’s qualifications, skills or experience. Why so judgmental Mr Mayor? Don’t you feel that you are discriminating against people with tattoos? Doesn’t the public sector in Japan have work laws such as Equal Opportunities.

What do you think of this story?

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