New guidance of dress codes and sex discrimination


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New guidance has been published by the Government Equalities Offices, 'Dress Codes and Sex Discrimination - what you need to know'. The guidance is for employers who set dress codes and employees and job applicants who may have to abide by them.

It has been written following a recommendation from the Parliamentary Women and Equalities Select Committee and the Petitions Committee.

The guidance reminds employers that dress policies for men and women do not have to be identical, but that standards imposed should be equivalent. It warns that requiring any gender-specific items, such as high heels, make up or requiring nails to be manicured for one gender only is likely to be unlawful. It also recommends that, when setting a dress code, employers should have regard to any health and safety implications.

The guidance also warns against requiring both men and women to "dress provocatively" as, whilst that might not be direct sex discrimination, it raises the risk of harassment.

This article is taken from HR Law - June 2018.

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