It can be difficult to know what exactly is required for workwear. Uniforms are unique to every business, and finding a set list of do’s and don’ts can be challenging. To help you make the right decision, this article will explain what you should and shouldn’t expect from your uniform, as well as what you can and cannot appeal to when it comes to the uniform of your workplace.
Why Are Uniforms Important?
Uniforms are more than just having a single form of dress for your team. They serve many valuable purposes to both the employees and the company. Uniforms can not only be used to create a dress standard within your business, but they can also protect employees’ safety where necessary. Finding the uniform that works well for all of your employees can be challenging, but finding that balance between style and functionality is crucial.
Safety and functionality are the priority when picking a uniform for your business, especially if there is a specific need for any PPE within the employee uniform. PPE can be crucial in some industries to the safety and wellbeing of employees, and its presence is legally required in specific industries in which it is needed. The employer must supply all PPE that is necessary to complete particular jobs.
What Are Uniforms/Dress Regulations?
In short, uniforms, dress regulations, or dress codes are company policies that define precisely what employees of a business should and shouldn’t be wearing while at work. These regulations can cover anything from the exact clothes that must be worn at work to how hair should be worn during working hours.
A company usually puts dress codes and regulations in place for health and safety reasons. These health and safety reasons differ for each business and its requirements. Some of the health and safety uniform regulations that can be brought in are:
- Tying hair back to prevent it from getting caught,
- Instructing employees to wear hairnets when handling food,
- Wearing PPE in dangerous areas or around hazardous substances.
Are There Laws Around Work Uniforms?
No law in the UK requires each business to have a dress code for its employees. However, some laws dictate what can and cannot be included in your employee dress code.
Your uniform dress code must not discriminate against any of your employees. You must keep the dress code of the business in line with the nine protected characteristics laid out by the Equality Act 2010.
The uniform dress code must also remain the same for both men and women working in the business. This can only be different for the different requirements that men and women have. You can make any necessary adjustments to the dress code for any employees with disabilities that find the dress code or uniform policy unsuitable.
Can Employees Appeal A Company Dress Code?
When assigning a dress code for your employees, it is crucial to ensure that it fits in line with the rules and regulations set out in the Equality Act 2010 and ensure that employees are comfortable with their uniforms and uniform requirements.
Employees cannot appeal a dress code if it follows the Equality Act 2010. perfectly, but they can discuss this internally within the business. Alternatively, if the company does not follow the regulations, employees are well within their rights to appeal any dress code decisions that have been made.
Imposing a dress code policy within the business is legal when considering employee rights. In some cases, however, employers make demands that discriminate against employees. There is a fine line between finding the correct dress code for your employees and imposing on their rights by making the constraints of your uniform too tight.
Can an employee refuse to wear a uniform?
Yes, but only if the uniform is not stipulated in their contract and discriminates against them in some way. Employers would need to discover why the employee is refusing to wear the uniform and come to a resolution of the problem. If the employee has their uniform regulations set out in their contract and the uniform does not discriminate against them in any way, then they cannot refuse to wear the uniform.
Do Employers Have To Pay For Uniforms?
There is often a grey area that catches employers and employees alike out, who pays for the uniform? Well, this isn’t a clear answer in all cases and can differ for each business.
An employer has no legal obligation to pay for uniforms provided to their employees. However, if they decide to not pay for uniforms, they must have this written in the contract provided to employees when they start. If it is not in their contract that the employee is obligated to pay for their uniform, the responsibility falls on the employer.
It is always important as an employee to check your contract for such uniform obligations before you sign. Always make sure you know the situation with your uniform before you start to avoid any unpleasant surprises come your first day.
There is only one situation in which the employer must pay for any uniform, and that is if the uniform contains pieces of PPE. If this is the case, it is the duty of the employer to purchase any personal protective equipment and distribute it to employees where necessary.
How Can We Help You?
Are you looking to implement a uniform or dress code but have no idea where to start? We can help! Our fantastic team of experts can help you identify precisely what you need from your uniform.
Our uniform range covers a vast spectrum of jobs, meaning you’re sure to find the items you’re looking for! If you have any questions about how we can further assist you with creating your perfect uniform, don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us. Our fantastic team is happy to answer any questions you may have. Take the first step towards your perfect workplace uniform today!