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A nursery worker who was chastised for wearing a dress that showed too much cleavage has lost her sex discrimination case.
The claimant at the employment tribunal worked at Bundles of Joy nursery in south London, where staff were required to wear a pink polo shirt, black trousers and flat shoes as their uniform.
According to the claimant, when she began work at the nursery there were no polo shirts available so she wore a stretchy black dress with a scooped neckline. The nursery would order polo shirts in batches as this was cheaper, and at this point did not have any in the claimant’s size.
A council representative that visited the nursery in January 2019 advised owner Zara Ahmed to “have a word” with the claimant about the dress as the amount of cleavage visible was “unprofessional in a nursery environment”.
The tribunal heard that how revealing the dress could be depended on what activities she was involved in with the children. Ahmed had told her employee in a meeting that the dress was too low-cut and could cause offence.
The nursery worker told the tribunal that she wears a large or extra-large in clothing sizes, but that her “build is far from unusual and well within the normal range”. The tribunal panel also saw CCTV images of her wearing the dress to work, confirming that it was figure-hugging.
However, in her tribunal claim, she alleged she had been told her “boobs were too big” in a meeting that was not in private as the doors were open. The nursery responded that the children were napping at the time.