Dress codes

Employers commonly have a dress code to ensure that all employees understand what standards are appropriate when it comes to their dress and appearance.

A dress code could have rules banning certain items of clothing and footwear (such as jeans, shorts and flip-flops), and rules on other areas of appearance, such as hair, tattoos, and piercings.

Employer may have to adapt the rules to accommodate employees whose cultural or religious needs make it difficult for them to comply with the rules. Employers may have to justify any indirectly discriminatory rules on dress or appearance.


Sexist dress codes could attract stricter punishment and fines

25 Jan 2017

Employers that enforce sexist dress codes could be in line for stricter punishment and fines, if the Government follows recommendations...

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Visible tattoos: time to relax policies on employee appearance?

21 Sep 2016

New research on appearance at work from Acas shows that employers may be out of touch with changing public attitudes...

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Firms lose out on young talent due to bias against visible tattoos

21 Sep 2016

Employers are missing out on younger talent because of negative attitudes towards visible tattoos at work, according to research published...

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Employers cannot ban Muslim headscarves, says Advocate General

13 Jul 2016

An employer cannot have a blanket ban on religious dress that prevents a Muslim woman from wearing an Islamic headscarf...

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Employers can ban Muslim headscarves at work, says EU lawyer

31 May 2016

An employer can prevent a Muslim employee from wearing an Islamic headscarf if the ban is based on a general...

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Receptionist sets up petition against high heels dress policy

12 May 2016

A temporary receptionist has claimed she was sent home from an assignment at consulting firm PwC because she was not...

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Religious dress at work: ECJ to hear Muslim headscarf cases

24 Feb 2016

What should an employer do if a third party objects to an employee wearing religious dress while working on the...

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Fancy-dress days can create a sense of fun but how do they affect professionalism?

Play and professionalism at work: boosting engagement while maintaining standards

28 Jan 2016

ON DEMAND | If having more fun at work can help boost productivity, how can HR encourage the right amount of enjoyment in the organisation while maintaining professionalism?

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Can employers insist on their staff wearing or not wearing a poppy in the workplace?

Wearing a poppy in the workplace: myth or reality?

4 Nov 2015

Employers often make the headlines over their policy on staff wearing a poppy in the workplace. We set out the...

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Monsoon Accessorize’s dress code led to it not paying minimum wage

23 Oct 2015

Fashion retailer Monsoon Accessorize has topped the latest list of companies...

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Religious dress in the workplace: five key employment cases from the UK

12 Jun 2015

The US Supreme Court has found that Abercrombie & Fitch committed religious discrimination when it rejected a Muslim woman’s job...

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Majority of dress codes bar shorts and crop tops at work

10 Jun 2015

Shorts and crop tops are most likely to be banned at work compared with other items of clothing, an XpertHR...

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Dress code research

Too tight or too loose: how does your dress code compare?

2 Mar 2015

Tattoos, beards and piercings are just three fashions that may have challenged employers’ dress codes. Trends that may have felt...

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Tattoos in the workplace

Tattoo much? Setting rules over employees’ hair, piercings and body art

16 Sep 2014

What are the risks for employers judging the suitability of tattoos in the workplace? Hannah Ford sets out the issues around “look policies”.

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Virgin Trains’ new uniform: risqué or just risky?

21 May 2013

Recent controversy over a new uniform for Virgin Trains’ female staff highlights the potential problems faced by employers who want...

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