CANBERRA, Aug. 2 -- Australian Border Force (ABF) staff will be forced to cover their tattoos while on duty under a proposal put forward by the government. In a memo sent to staff acquired by News Corp Australia, the ABF said that uniformed officers will not be allowed to have tattoos on display while on duty under the proposed changes. If adopted, the new rules could see officers with tattoos forced to wear long sleeves while working at sea or in extreme heat. According to the memo, the new rules were designed to ensure a "consistent law enforcement approach across the Home Affairs portfolio". Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Protective Services Officers (PSOs) will also be affected by the changes. Lisa Newman, deputy national president of the Community and Public Sector Union, said that staff felt "disrespected" by the proposal. "That's easy for (Home Affairs Minister) Peter Dutton to say as he sits in an airconditioned office, but we're talking in some cases about officers working in extreme heat and with machinery that would make long sleeves possibly dangerous and frankly ridiculous," Newman told News Corp on Thursday. "Our members in Border Force are angry at this policy change. We've been contacted by numerous members with deeply personal tattoos, including one with his daughter's name tattooed on his arm and several with crucifixes and other religious symbols. "They feel extremely disrespected at the prospect of being forced to cover or remove them." Those who are unable to comply with the rules "for religious, cultural or medical reasons" would be eligible for an exemption. Staff have been given one week to give feedback on the new rules.