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Clear office dress codes to ‘help avoid legal issues’

Businesses need to make reasons for summertime workplace dress codes clear if they wish to avoid legal action, according to one expert.

People working in serviced offices are often able to wear slightly more relaxed clothing when the weather is extremely hot or cold, however, Charlotte Wolff, an employment relations editor at XpertHR, advises that employers should make it very clear exactly what the parameters are.

“For instance, if shorts are OK, do they need to be below the knee? If women can’t wear shorts and men can, the employer needs to have a clear business reason, otherwise the employer could face a discrimination claim,” she stated.

A recent survey conducted by XpertHR found that almost half of employers are happy to relax their dress codes in warm or cold weather, however, many, especially those who considered their business to have a ‘formal’ dress code, still restricted staff from wearing certain items, such as cut-off tops or open-toed shoes.