How to Avoid a Costume Drama
Discussing an employee's choice of office attire can often fall into the realms of 'uncomfortable conversations'. We can make it easy for you.
Avoid gender stereotypes
Avoid rules that focus more on one gender than the other. This could amount to less favourable treatment on the grounds of sex. Such rules may open you up to direct sex discrimination claims under the Equality Act 2010. Where you can, apply the same standard to both men and women.
Be aware of religious observance
If you're thinking about imposing dress codes that could impact on employees with certain religious or political beliefs, try to adopt a code that applies to everyone, is set out in writing, and forms part of your Staff Handbook.
Be Prepared to Listen
Is it really necessary for employees to wear formal office attire every day, regardless of their interaction with external clients? Perhaps it is, but seek feedback from your employees. As with any regulation, employee engagement will improve the chances of a positive response to the implementation of any new process.
Above all, make sure you have a robust Dress Code Policy in place for all employees to refer to.
Ad hoc decision-making leaves more scope for problems.
If you need one drafting, give us a call for a chat about how we can help.