Organisations often favour dress and appearance codes as they offer a number of benefits: namely, the alignment of an employee’s appearance with the organisation’s brand; it indicates professionalism; and the creation of a sense of corporate identity. However, employers do need to be aware of the legal issues and pitfalls surrounding the requirements of a dress and appearance code.

Social norms and legal requirements regarding dress and general appearance at work are constantly evolving and employers should therefore keep their approach to, and policy on, this issue under review.

This topic looks at how to implement a dress code without discriminating against employees, particularly under the protected characteristics of sex, race, religion or belief, gender re-assignment and disability. The importance of hygiene and safety issues are also considered.

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