Hirsute horror: Fresher ordered to cut his beard by employer

It got a bit hairy


The beard is in, and the bosses aren’t happy.

Whether an attempt to reassert masculinity or a mere generic trend, men all over the country are currently sporting an impressive bush of facial hair.

But while bearded individuals continue living as they always have done, some employers are taking issue.

Joe Bulman, a Bournemouth University fresher, has recently been a victim of beard discrimination in the workplace. When he returned to work in Milton Keynes on Boxing Day, his boss ordered him to chop it.

He was given 24 hours, and if he didn’t do it, he was told they would do it for him. He told us his horror story.

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The 19-year-old said: “My shoe shop boss ordered me to trim my facial hair. The festive cheer was slashed for me on Boxing Day when my managers ordered me to snip my beloved beard.

“I’d returned to do some shifts during the Christmas holidays after my first semester at uni.

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“The bosses gave the order at the end of a gruelling shift. They gave me less than 24 hours to do it, claiming that if I failed to they would do it themselves with a pair of scissors.

“Any well-bearded man will know that having a trim is not that simple. It takes a qualified hairdresser to do it properly.

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“As a fresher, my beard has become part of my identity at university. It is a defining feature. I am frequently asked by envious freshers how on earth I do it.

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Spot the most impressive beard

“Being told I must get rid of my pride and joy by my part-time employer was a big blow. Having been bearded for six months now, I certainly didn’t see such an abrupt statement coming. Especially during the festive period.

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“I simply don’t see what the harm is. Beard or no beard, I work to a high standard. It doesn’t affect my performance. In fact, my facial forest has only ever received praise from customers.

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“I should’ve seen it coming after the management’s reaction to the ‘beard baubles’ I received as my work Secret Santa. I put them on during a shift and was immediately sent into the stock room.

“They refused to keep me on the shop floor if I kept them in. I stayed in the stock room.

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“I am not going to comply with their unreasonable order. I will get my facial hair trimmed in my own time, but I won’t be forced to meet a deadline.

“I will go into work today fully bearded. If they want to send me home, then so be it.The beard is its own boss.”

Joe is holding his ground. When asked to comment on this horrific situation, the HR manager of the shoe shop company claimed that it was down to looking neat and tidy. She said:

We pride ourselves on presentation. An untrimmed beard is like a girl wearing laddered tights. We must ensure that all of our staff look presentable while working.

Is comparing a man’s beard to a pair of laddered tights fair? Should it be considered as a menace to his potential in the workplace?

It is about time employers accept their bearded staff for who they are, and allow the fuzzy facial hair to flourish.