dress code policy


Corporate image is key to many employers, and it will often be important for employees to maintain this corporate image in the way that they dress. ACAS has recently issued guidance on dress code and appearance in the workplace, which highlights some important considerations for employers.

Key points are as follows:

  • Any dress code enforced by an employer should avoid unlawful discrimination, for example if an employer wishes to ban religious dress or articles. Employers should ensure they have genuine business or health and safety reasons for such restrictions.
  • Likewise, any policy should be applied equally to men and woman, although there may potentially be slightly different requirements, e.g. ‘business dress for women’ and ‘must wear a tie’ for men.
  • If the policy requires employees to remove body piercings or cover tattoos, employers should ensure this is reasonable and that they have sound business reasons for insisting on this.
  • Where an employee fails to comply with a dress code policy and this will result in disciplinary action, it is important to ensure this is detailed in the policy.
  • It may be helpful for employers to consult employees about the policy with a view to agreeing the dress standards.

The full text of the ACAS dress code guidance can be found here.

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