Why are dress codes used in work place?
Dress codes are applied in the work places to ensure that everyone is safe and dressed appropriately.
As long as discrimination is not made by the employers, they can apply a reasonable standard of dress and appearance that matches to their industry. It becomes discriminatory if it treats a group of people less favourably than another which is of course an unreasonable practice. Generally, dress standards attached to particular Enterprise Agreements or Work Health and Safety are considered logical.
When can a dress code in your workplace be considered discriminatory?
The Employers should set the dress codes as mentioned below:
It should be:
• Related to the work and need to be of reasonable requirement
• Applied equally to men and women
• Just to the people with disabilities
• Non obstructing to the workers following their cultural or religious beliefs
A worker can be subject to an unfair dismissal claim, if an employer fires a worker because of their dress. The common uses of such are:
1. Tattoos: At the most like piercing , an employer who desires a certain discipline or standard of dress in their business premises can recommend you to cover the tattoos while serving the customers
2. Piercings: In such case the employer can instruct men or women worker to remove piercings in nose or eyebrow rings while dealing with the customers and that will not be considered as discrimination
3. Hair: In case an Employer instructs you to be clean shaved if it is against your religion to shave then it remains discriminatory. But it cannot be said to be discriminatory if the employee is asked to tie back their hair for health and safety reasons so long as the rule is equally applicable to men and women.
4. Religious dress or appearance: If the employer treat a person less favourably in comparison to other workers on the ground of the person wearing a dress or adornments symbolic of their religion; it will amount to discrimination. However, each worker needs to show their faces for reasonable identification or not wear items that present a safety hazards.
5. It may be reasonable to ask all the staff to wear “business dress“. But asking men to wear ties and women to wear skirts might amount to discrimination.
6. Ordering staff not to wear loose clothing would certainly be discriminatory because Indian women would prefer wearing saris. However, this would reasonably be an appropriate request in a workplace where the staff operates machinery because that would otherwise risk of injury.
We must understand that the dress-code is the component of the corporate image and corporate culture of the company. The important feature here to be noted is that there is the need to maintain the professional reputation and image of the company. The dress code here is the way to stand out among competitors, reveal a professional business approach and merely good taste. It is absolutely necessary for a firm to formulate a dress code which clearly sets out appearance guidelines which an employee should respect.