Copyright Moore Barlow LLP (Moore Blatch and Barlow Robbins merged May 2020)

Dress codes and sex discrimination – what’s new?

The Government Equalities Offices has recently published new guidance on Dress Codes and Sex Discrimination. In summary:

  • Dress policies for men and women do not have to be identical, but standards imposed should be equivalent.
  • Specification of gender-specific dress codes (such as high heels, make up or manicured nails) is likely to be unlawful.
  • Transgender employees should be allowed to follow the organisation’s dress code in a way which they feel matches their gender identity.
  • Employers should be flexible and not set dress codes which prohibit religious symbols that do not interfere with an employee’s work.

Legal comment

The guidance is a useful reminder to employers to ensure they are setting equivalent standards for their male and female staff.


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