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Dress code and uniforms are common and often necessary in the workplace for many reasons; representing a brand to customers, health and safety and of course, team cohesion.

An employee uniform can take many forms and will vary, not only by profession but also often by gender.  According to ACAS, the dress code should relate to the job and be reasonable in nature, for example, workers may be required to tie their hair back or cover it for hygiene reasons if working in a kitchen.

An employer’s dress code must not be discriminatory in respect of the protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010 for age, disability, gender reassignment, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.

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Key points to consider

  • Employers must avoid unlawful discrimination in any dress code policy.
  • Employers may have health and safety reasons for having certain standards.
  • Dress codes must apply to both men and women equally, although they may have different requirements.
  • Reasonable adjustments must be made for disabled people when dress codes are in place.


Uniform and gender

Most companies have a dress code policy that makes clear to employees how they are expected to dress within the workplace.  ACAS states that any dress code should be non-discriminatory and should apply to both men and women equally. Standards can be different, for example, a policy may state “business dress” for women but may state for men “must wear a tie”.

Creating a dress code or uniform standard

Engagement is the key to staff compliance. Have you consulted your employees to determine what they like and dislike about their existing workwear?

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Organising uniform wearer trials with new garments is a great way to understand if, for example, a new item of ladies work trousers are a great fit or if a weatherproof coat is really fit for purpose.  How do they hold up after a few weeks on the job? This trial period will enable you to take feedback from the people who will be wearing the uniform and make any necessary adjustments to garments or sizes.

When the final dress code has been drawn up, be sure to communicate it clearly with staff, as there may be disciplinary consequences for those not complying with the standards.

Murray Uniforms has 100 years’ experience in the clothing industry and are experts in uniform design and manufacturing.  We know that what you wear matters.  To find out more contact Ken or Andy by emailing