Change of workplace dress code policy?

We recently supported one of our members in a school through a dispute where the employer changed its dress code policy which could have compromised our member’s ability to work due  to their hair colour and tattoos.

To help other members facing a similar situation, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration  Service (ACAS) has updated its dress code guidelines. This follows a nationally publicised case involving women being asked to wear stiletto heels in the workplace.

Any dress code should be nondiscriminatory and should equally apply to both men and  women. Any dress code should not be stricter, or lead to a detriment, for one gender over the other.

Often an employer will introduce a dress code for health and safety reasons, for example health care workers may not be allowed to wear jewellery when around patients for safety reasons.

Regarding religious dress within policies: employers should tread cautiously in this area as they  should allow groups or individual employees to wear articles of clothing etc that manifest their  religious faith. Employers will need to justify the reasons for banning such items. Any restriction  should be connected to a real business or safety requirement and be non- discriminatory.

For more information contact the branch by calling 01243 777636 or emailing