Canberra: Australian flag carrier Qantas announced on Friday that it has relaxed its gender-based uniform rules, allowing male employees to put make-up while female staffers will no longer require to wear heels while on duty.
In a statement, the airline said: “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 BBC reported.
Under the relaxed rules, which will also apply to employees of Qantas’ budget airline Jetstar, both women and men will also be allowed to wear the same sort of jewellery, including large watches.
All employees, including pilots and flight attendants, will be allowed to have long hair, if it is worn in a ponytail or bun.
But Qantas worker will still have to keep their tattoos covered up and the rules also specify which items of uniform can be worn together, including requiring tights or stockings to be worn with skirts.
Meanwhile, Imogen Sturni from the Australian Services Union (ASU), which had campaigned for Qantas to change its uniform policy, said the move was a “big win for workers”.
“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,” Sturni told the BBC.
The flag carrier’s move comes after some other airlines also relaxed their uniform policies.
In September 2022, UK-based carrier Virgin Atlantic said it would take a “fluid approach” to uniforms, which allowed staff to choose what they wore to work “no matter their gender”.
In 2019, Air New Zealand ended a ban on staff having visible tattoos, to allow “employees to express their individuality and cultural heritage”.