Resort workers’ beard petition gathers 1,500 signatures

Tourism Employment Association of Maldives (TEAM) submits their 'beard petition'. (Photo/TEAM)

Tourism Employment Association of Maldives (TEAM) has submitted a petition seeking a change to the policy which requires male resort workers to be cleanshaven – an issue which has been a subject of debate for years.

TEAM presented the petition to Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail on Friday.

According to TEAM’s secretary-general Mauroof Zakir (Matey), the petition was submitted with signatures of some 1,500 male workers from union resorts.

TEAM’s secretary-general Mauroof Zakir (Matey).

In the petition, TEAM asked for resort workers in Maldives to be allowed to sport beards – the same as workers in international hotel chains.

“This is an issue of concern to all resort workers. We need an alternative to having to clean shave every single day. Workers are allowed to sport beards to a decent level in hotel chains abroad. Some of the resorts in Maldives practice this. We asked that we be allowed to sport beards based on these same standards,” said Matey.

Matey said described their meeting with Fayyaz as productive. He has high hopes the government will address the concern.

A resort worker signs the 'beard petition'. (Photo/TEAM)

He said that Fayyaz told them during the meeting that the government did not wish to stop resort workers from sporting beards.

Fayyaz assured them the government would talk to resort management and facilitate a quick solution to the issue.

A resort worker who spoke to Sun said that all his male colleagues, and he himself, wished to grow out their beard.

Matey said that TEAM will continue gathering signatures until authorities provide a solution to the issue.

Workers from non-union resorts are also signing the petition.