Dress codes in the workplace
Image credit: Shutterstock
Knowing exactly what is expected in the workplace with regard to dress codes is a somewhat grey area. In bid to clear this up, the government has instilled guidelines in the form of a recommendation from the Parliamentary Women and Equalities Select Committee and Petitions Committee. Our owner, Kirsten Cluer, reflects on these guidelines as we approach one year since their implementation.
Although dress policies for men and women don’t have to be identical, it’s best to avoid gender specific prescriptive requirements. Any requirement to wear make-up, skirts, have manicured nails, certain hairstyles or specific types of hosiery is likely to be unlawful and could lead to cases of sex discrimination. Ultimately, less favourable treatment because of sex could be direct discrimination.
It is important employers understand that their dress code could be unlawful under the guidelines if, for instance, they require their female staff to wear high heels, with all the discomfort and inherent health issues these can cause, because it treats women less favourably than men.
To read the full article, please click here.