We wrote recently about how dress codes are becoming a more common and controversial topic of conversation in the workplace.
Last year PwC in the UK found itself in the headlines in relation to a temp agency sending their employee home because she was not wearing heels on the client site. This led to national outcry in the UK and a parliamentary debate.
The recent ECJ ruling on the banning of headscarves by employers has also garnered a lot of attention. The ruling is not an absolute right on employers to ban employees from wearing headscarves despite what some media outlets are stating. Such a dress code policy and ban may only occur in certain limited circumstances. The case in question related solely to a customer facing role and the employer in question had a ‘neutrality’ policy that impacted all employees equally. An employer will still need to be able to objectively justify such a policy.
With the heatwave in Europe this week men have been the focus of strict dress codes and they are right. I feel very fortunate to be able to wear my floaty, airy skirt in 29 degrees and it is discrimination to not allow my male colleagues the same right! As long as it is still office appropriate - no hot pants please from anyone!
If you need some assistance in reviewing or putting in place a dress code have a look out our checklist of items for employers to consider when implementing a dress-code.
To access the checklist click here.
If you are an employer and you need advice on an equality or workplace issue please contact a member of our Employment Law & Data Protection Team.
Disclaimer:This article is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. No liability is accepted by Leman Solicitors for any action taken or not taken in reliance on the information set out in this publication. Professional or legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this publication. Any and all information is subject to change.
“We asked to be able to wear clothing suitable for the high temperatures, but were told we couldn’t wear shorts. Because skirts are authorised, we are wearing them,” Didier Sauvetre, a driver and union representative told the local paper Press Ocean. Colleague Gabriel Magner, another union representative, claimed it was a form of discrimination. “Women can wear skirts but not men,” he said. “Our bosses offices are air-conditioned, which isn’t the case with the majority of our vehicles. To spend more than seven hours in a vehicle in 50C temperatures is not easy.