Friday, August 2, 2013

How fair is your work dress code?

Having a dress code at work is something that almost everyone has and although some may not like it, they have to adhere to it. Some dress codes, however, are stricter than others and have attracted everything from simple criticism to claims of breached human rights.
An employer is allowed to dictate what their employees wear when they come to work as long as they have a good reason for it (for example, health and safety or maintaining a certain public profile). They must be consistent across the entire workforce and ensure that they do not discriminate against certain groups or find themselves breaching employees' human rights.
In 2009, a disabled worker won a tribunal against Abercrombie & Fitch after it emerged that she’d been ‘hidden’ in the stockroom because her prosthetic arm didn't fit their company ‘look’. More recently, in January 2013, a British Airways check-in worker won an appeal at the European Court of Human Rights against the airline’s decision to ban her from wearing a crucifix on the grounds of wanting to maintain a corporate image (during the tribunal it was revealed that other employees were allowed to continue wearing hi-jabs and turbans).
While shops and airlines may seem like fair play, a dress code and maintaining a ‘public face’ isn't normally something you’d associate with taxi drivers. Nevertheless, drivers in the Wirral have been following a code since 2010 banning them from wearing flip flops or shorts, and now taxi drivers in Maidstone are facing similar regulation. Although there are certain items on the proposed list of banned clothing that are understandable, other items may seem a little strict or excessive for workers who spend most of their time in a car, including vest tops or shorts.
For those who have to abide by a strict dress code, it can sometimes be difficult to find clothes that fit company guidelines. The great collection of women’s shirts when you shop at is sure to have you covered, no matter what the rules are.

*guest post

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