Qantas: Australian airline relaxes requirements for uniforms based on gender

Qantas uniforms

Male employees are now permitted to wear makeup and have long hair at Qantas, an Australian airline, as it has loosened its gender-based uniform regulations.

Female employees will no longer be required to wear makeup and heels to work, per the company's new style manual.

A trade union in Australia urged Qantas to "bring uniform policy into the 21st Century" last year.

Following the easing of regulations by rival airlines, Virgin Atlantic introduced gender-neutral uniforms.

Both men and women will be allowed to wear the same types of jewelry, including big watches, in addition to being able to wear flat shoes.

The new regulations also allow all employees, including flight attendants and pilots, to have long hair as long as it is pulled back or up in a bun.

In a statement on Friday, Qantas noted that "fashions change, and so have our style guidelines over the years.".

It continued, "We're proud of our diversity and updating our policies.

The new guidelines also apply to Jetstar, a low-cost airline owned by Qantas.

The Australian Services Union (ASU), which had pushed Qantas to alter its uniform policies, said the decision was a "big win for workers." Imogen Sturni.

According to Ms. Sturni, who spoke to the BBC, "some of the dress code requirements were bordering on ridiculous, such as makeup style guides and a requirement for women to wear smaller watches than men.".

The new policy, however, still requires Qantas employees to cover up tattoos. The regulations also outline the pairings of uniform pieces, such as the requirement that skirts be worn with stockings or tights.

Following the easing of some other airlines' uniform policies, Qantas made its announcement.

Virgin Atlantic, a UK-based airline, announced in September that it would adopt a "fluid approach" to uniforms, allowing employees to choose what they wore to work "no matter their gender.".

The airline later clarified that the policy did not apply to the staff traveling with the England football team to the World Cup in Qatar, a country that has come under fire for its treatment of LGBT people.

Virgin announced at the time that it had implemented the policy in the UK, US, and Israel because those countries "allow more self-expression for non-binary identities.".

A ban on visible tattoos for employees was lifted by Air New Zealand in 2019 to "enable employees to express their individuality and cultural heritage.".

To commemorate their ancestry and heritage, some New Zealanders with Maori ancestry have tattoos.

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