Dressing down for rebel who took JobCentre Plus to tribunal after refusing to wear shirt and tie to work as stipulated in dress code

A worker who protested against the introduction of a new dress code for men by wearing extreme outfits to the office has lost his unfair dismissal and sexual discrimination claims.

The Dorset employment tribunal ruled that JobCentre Plus had not discriminated against Raymond Akers by insisting he wear a shirt and tie to work.

Akers claimed it was unnecessary for him to dress smartly for work as he rarely dealt with the public. He also said that many of the female staff were permitted to wear inappropriate clothes.

“A sleeveless top on one woman revealed her tattoos and a few others had bare midriffs,” he said. “In one particular case a navel piercing could be seen – hardly businesslike.”

“In response, I took to wearing flamboyant shirts and clashing ties to discredit and protest further against the dress standard that stipulated that men had to wear a collar and tie to look businesslike.”

On one occasion, Akers arrived at the office wearing a tie that featured an array of coloured condoms, the tribunal heard.

Akers resigned after several warnings from his manager, but the tribunal dismissed his claims and ordered him to pay £3,000 in costs.

Tribunal chairman Charles Twiss said: “The claimant staged a silly defiance of the rules.”

Twiss said female workers had not been more favourably treated than their male colleagues.

Akers said`: “I still feel that I am right.”

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