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Dress codes at work – is there a place for them?

With the recent publicity of a temporary receptionist who was sent home after refusing to wear high heals at work, it raises the question about suitable Dress Code policies in the work place.

Ms Thorp was sent to PwC by the outsourcing firm, Portico and it was their policy that their front of house employees wear heals of between 2 and 4 inches. This really is an interesting debate and certainly one to watch over the coming months. More details on the story can be found here

However, the subject of a business’ Dress Code policy is one which has the potential to cause headaches if it the reasons for implementation are not appropriately considered.

So what is acceptable? Perhaps we really need to be sure of is what is acceptable for YOUR business at the same time ensuring that your dress code rules don’t give rise to discrimination

Some business’s take an informal approach to dress and this can be considered a perk by employees and can also increase productivity by helping to creative a more relaxed working environment.

Some businesses want a more formal approach to dress and might allow a ‘dress down Friday’ approach. Other businesses insist on a uniform to ensure that a ‘Corporate Identity’ exists and there are the ones who must simply insist on certain attire due to specific Health & Safety requirements.

Whatever the reason for implementing a Dress Code policy, getting it right is key, specifically:

  • Explain the reasons behind your policy – what are the legitimate reasons?
  • Consider how the dress code will impact your employees ability to do their jobs effectively
  • Consult with employees throughout all stages
  • Ensure your policy allows for employees to appeal to a decision not wear certain attire
  • Ensure you apply your dress code consistently to avoid discrimination

For more information or to get some advice get in touch today!