Is your dress code discriminatory?

January 25, 2017

MPs are demanding that legislation is enforced so cases like Nicola Thorp, PWC and ‘Heelgate’, which came to light last year, will be a thing of the past. At HR180 we are committed to helping employers build policies which go above and beyond the requirements of employment law. So what might this mean for you?

City receptionist Nicola Thorp was humiliatingly sent home from work – for not wearing high heels! Nicola complained that wearing high heels for 9 hours a day whilst walking clients to and from meetings was bad for her feet, and that her male colleagues were not asked to follow similar rules on their dress. As a result of the massive public uproar, a joint report ‘High Heels and Workplace Dress Codes’ was put together by parliamentary committees (Petitions and Women and Equalities).High Heels

In preparing the report MPs uncovered stories from a wide range of working women. A common thread was female staff who were forced to wear short skirts and revealing tops. So though the Equality Act 2010 ought to stop discriminatory dress codes in the workplace, the real situation is that workers of neither sex are actually afforded any protection presently.

So whilst this report talks about conduction a publicity campaign so employers know their legal obligations and so workers know the process of how to make a complaint, its key recommendation is that to enforce rigorously the existing law – meaning that employment tribunals will be allowed to apply hefty financial penalties.

With tribunals running into £1000s, it really is necessary for firms to not only create policies to ensure non-discriminatory working practices but also to ensure that the policies are fully communicated to all management and staff AND full training and support is given. Here at HR180 we personally help our clients to put in place all these procedures and avoid tribunals. Think you are at risk? Want to get ahead of the game with your company policies and procedures then get in touch here or call in the HR180 heroes on 0113 287 8150.

Whether it is forward planning your HR support or a cry of ‘Rescue Me’, your HR180 Heroes team are ready to lend a helping hand! Contact us today to help protect your best assets – the people in your business. Call 0113 287 8150 or take a look here.

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