QANT US INAustralian Airline, Qantas Adopts Gender-neutral Uniform Policy

Australian airline, Qantas, has revised its uniform policy to allow male employees to wear makeup and have long hair, while removing the requirement for female employees to wear makeup and heels. The change comes in response to calls from an Australian trade union to move “uniform policy into the 21st Century”.

Qantas follows the lead of other airlines such as Virgin Atlantic, which has implemented gender-neutral uniforms allowing both men and women to wear flat shoes and similar jewelry. The new rules, applicable to all employees including pilots and flight attendants, also permit long hair as long as it is tied in a ponytail or bun.

In a statement released on Friday, Qantas stated: “Fashions change, and so have our style guidelines over the years.”

“We’re proud of our diversity as well as bringing our guidelines up to date,” the statement added.

The relaxed policy also extends to employees of Qantas’ budget airline, Jetstar. Imogen Sturni from the Australian Services Union hailed the change as a “big win for workers.” Citing the previous dress code requirements, she said: “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.”

However, the updated policy still requires Qantas employees to cover their tattoos. The rules also specify the combinations of uniform items, including the requirement for tights or stockings to be worn with skirts. Qantas’ announcement follows similar moves by other airlines. Virgin Atlantic adopted a “fluid approach” to uniforms, allowing staff to choose their attire irrespective of gender. Air New Zealand ended its ban on visible tattoos in 2019, permitting employees to express their individuality and cultural heritage, particularly for those with Maori ancestry.