Dress for Success - What to Wear at Work

Monday 16th September 2013

Dress for Success - What to Wear at Work - employers may face difficulties in imposing a dress code at work if they are not aware of "protected characteristics". Under the Equality Act 2010 "protected characteristics" relates to age, sex, race, disability, religion/belief, and sexual orientation amongst others. An apparently neutral dress code policy may equate to indirect discrimination if those employees with a protected characteristic are placed at a disadvantage unless it can be objectively justified. British Airways fell foul of indirect discrimination in the case of Eweida v BA when they sent home an employee for allowing her cross to be on display whereas in the case of Nurse Shirley Chaplin the NHS was justified on grounds of health and safety in banning her crucifix. Sometimes a case-by-case basis is more appropriate. Always take legal advice.