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