When did you last review your dress code or workplace uniform policy?

Published November 22 2022

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Do you need to review your dress code or workplace uniform policy?

It’s easy to forget about your dress code or workplace uniform policy, especially now, where the industry is seeing a big shift in the way our modern businesses operates. 

Uniforms and workplace dress codes can be an area that’s easy for businesses to overlook, almost becoming a part of the workplace ‘furniture’.

What employees wear and how they feel about it can have an impact not only on them and your business but also on your customers/clients.


Virgin Atlantic has lately announced a fluid approach to their uniforms, allowing employees to embrace their individuality and choose to wear the uniform that best suits them and how they identify.

This got us thinking, and we have an important question for you: When was the last time you thought about your dress code or workplace uniform policy?

If it’s been a while, it might be time to give this area a little attention. It could be that you and your employees are happy with what you have and it’s working well, or maybe just maybe an update could be needed. This could be for a variety of reasons such as:

  • Your dress code / workplace uniform policy no longer properly reflects your business’ image
  • Inclusivity and supporting employees to bring their authentic selves to work
  • Changes to how your business operates such as hybrid / homeworking which has impacted on your dress code requirements

If you are reviewing your dress code / workplace uniform policy here’s a few things you may find helpful:


1. Keep potential issues of discrimination in mind when reviewing your workplace uniform policy

When it comes to uniforms and dress codes employers can sometimes inadvertently find themselves falling foul of the law. Remember employees shouldn’t be directly or indirectly discriminated against when it comes to this area and there are additional protections in place for disabled employees.

Amongst other things bear in mind that:

  • Whilst it can be permissible to have different rules for men and women the standards imposed should be equivalent
  • Transgender employees should be allowed to follow the uniform / dress code in a way which they feel matches their gender identity
  • Regard should be had to possible religious and cultural sensitivities
  • Employers are required to make reasonable adjustments to policies and practices which place disabled employees at a substantial disadvantage compared to non-disabled employees. This can apply to uniform / dress code policies


2. Consider health and safety requirements

Remember health and safety requirements / implications shouldn’t be overlooked. Where necessary, you may need to take specific advice on your business’ situation. Take a look at our Health and Safety services, to find out more about protecting your employees from harm or danger. 

3. Make changes in the right way

If you want to make changes to your dress code / workplace uniform policy it’s important to go about in the right way, not least to avoid potential employee relations issues where possible.

If proposed changes are significant employee consultation may be needed. We can provide specific and practical advice on the facts of your situation so please get in touch before acting.

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